Science.gov

Sample records for advanced radioisotope space

  1. Development of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Jack; Wood, J. Gary; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Under the joint sponsorship of the Department of Energy and NASA, a radioisotope power system utilizing Stirling power conversion technology is being developed for potential future space missions. The higher conversion efficiency of the Stirling cycle compared with that of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) used in previous missions (Viking, Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, and New Horizons) offers the advantage of a four-fold reduction in PuO2 fuel, thereby saving cost and reducing radiation exposure to support personnel. With the advancement of state-of-the-art Stirling technology development under the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) project, the Stirling Radioisotope Generator program has evolved to incorporate the advanced Stirling convertor (ASC), provided by Sunpower, into an engineering unit. Due to the reduced envelope and lighter mass of the ASC compared to the previous Stirling convertor, the specific power of the flight generator is projected to increase from 3.5 to 7 We/kg, along with a 25 percent reduction in generator length. Modifications are being made to the ASC design to incorporate features for thermal, mechanical, and electrical integration with the engineering unit. These include the heat collector for hot end interface, cold-side flange for waste heat removal and structural attachment, and piston position sensor for ASC control and power factor correction. A single-fault tolerant, active power factor correction controller is used to synchronize the Stirling convertors, condition the electrical power from AC to DC, and to control the ASCs to maintain operation within temperature and piston stroke limits. Development activities at Sunpower and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) are also being conducted on the ASC to demonstrate the capability for long life, high reliability, and flight qualification needed for use in future missions.

  2. Development of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator for Space Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Jack; Wood, J. Gary; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Under the joint sponsorship of the Department of Energy and NASA, a radioisotope power system utilizing Stirling power conversion technology is being developed for potential future space missions. The higher conversion efficiency of the Stirling cycle compared with that of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) used in previous missions (Viking, Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, and New Horizons) offers the advantage of a four-fold reduction in PuO2 fuel, thereby saving cost and reducing radiation exposure to support personnel. With the advancement of state-of-the-art Stirling technology development under the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) project, the Stirling Radioisotope Generator program has evolved to incorporate the advanced Stirling convertor (ASC), provided by Sunpower, into an engineering unit. Due to the reduced envelope and lighter mass of the ASC compared to the previous Stirling convertor, the specific power of the flight generator is projected to increase from 3.5 We/kg to 7 We/kg, along with a 25% reduction in generator length. Modifications are being made to the ASC design to incorporate features for thermal, mechanical, and electrical integration with the engineering unit. These include the heat collector for hot end interface, cold-side flange for waste heat removal and structural attachment, and piston position sensor for ASC control and power factor correction. A single-fault tolerant, active power factor correction controller is used to synchronize the Stirling convertors, condition the electrical power from AC to DC, and to control the ASCs to maintain operation within temperature and piston stroke limits. Development activities at Sunpower and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) are also being conducted on the ASC to demonstrate the capability for long life, high reliability, and flight qualification needed for use in future missions.

  3. Developing a Free-Piston Stirling Convertor for advanced radioisotope space power systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Songgang; Augenblick, John E.; White, Maurice A.; Peterson, Allen A.; Redinger, Darin L.; Petersen, Stephen L.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Free-Piston Stirling Convertors as a technology for future advanced radioisotope space power systems. In August 2000, DOE awarded competitive Phase I, Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) power system integration contracts to three major aerospace contractors, resulting in SRG conceptual designs in February 2001. All three contractors based their designs on the Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) developed by Stirling Technology Company (STC) for DOE. The contract award to a single system integration contractor for Phases II and III of the SRG program is anticipated in late 2001. The first potential SRG mission is targeted for a Mars rover. This paper provides a description of the Flight Prototype (FP) Stirling convertor design as compared to the previous TDC design. The initial flight prototype units are already undergoing performance tuning at STC. The new design will be hermetically scaled and will provide a weight reduction from approximately 4.8 kg to approximately 3.9 kg. .

  4. Status of an advanced radioisotope space power system using free-piston Stirling technology

    SciTech Connect

    White, M.A,; Qiu, S.; Erbeznik, R.M.; Olan, R.W.; Welty, S.C.

    1998-07-01

    This paper describes a free-piston Stirling engine technology project to demonstrate a high efficiency power system capable of being further developed for deep space missions using a radioisotope (RI) heat source. The key objective is to develop a power system with an efficiency exceeding 20% that can function with a high degree of reliability for 10 years or longer on deep space missions. Primary issues being addressed for Stirling space power systems are weight and the vibration associated with reciprocating pistons. Similar weight and vibration issues have been successfully addressed with Stirling cryocoolers, which are the accepted standard for cryogenic cooling in space. Integrated long-life Stirling engine-generator (or convertor) operation has been demonstrated by the terrestrial Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) and other Stirling Technology Company (STC) programs. Extensive RSG endurance testing includes more than 40,000 maintenance-free, degradation-free hours for the complete convertor, in addition to several critical component and subsystem endurance tests. The Stirling space power convertor project is being conducted by STC under DOE Contract, and NASA SBIR Phase II contracts. The DOE contract objective is to demonstrate a two-convertor module that represents half of a nominal 150-W(e) power system. Each convertor is referred to as a Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC). The ultimate Stirling power system would be fueled by three general purpose heat source (GPHS) modules, and is projected to produce substantially more electric power than the 150-watt target. The system is capable of full power output with one failed convertor. One NASA contract, nearing completion, uses existing 350-W(e) RG-350 convertors to evaluate interactivity of two back-to-back balanced convertors with various degrees of electrical and mechanical interaction. This effort has recently provided the first successful synchronization of two convertors by means of parallel

  5. Preliminary test results from a free-piston Stirling engine technology demonstration program to support advanced radioisotope space power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Maurice A.; Qiu, Songgang; Augenblick, Jack E.

    2000-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling engines offer a relatively mature, proven, long-life technology that is well-suited for advanced, high-efficiency radioisotope space power systems. Contracts from DOE and NASA are being conducted by Stirling Technology Company (STC) for the purpose of demonstrating the Stirling technology in a configuration and power level that is representative of an eventual space power system. The long-term objective is to develop a power system with an efficiency exceeding 20% that can function with a high degree of reliability for up to 15 years on deep space missions. The current technology demonstration convertors (TDC's) are completing shakedown testing and have recently demonstrated performance levels that are virtually identical to projections made during the preliminary design phase. This paper describes preliminary test results for power output, efficiency, and vibration levels. These early results demonstrate the ability of the free-piston Stirling technology to exceed objectives by approximately quadrupling the efficiency of conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). .

  6. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Life Certification Plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rusick, Jeffrey J.; Zampino, Edward

    2013-01-01

    An Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) power supply is being developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with NASA for potential future deep space science missions. Unlike previous radioisotope power supplies for space exploration, such as the passive MMRTG used recently on the Mars Curiosity rover, the ASRG is an active dynamic power supply with moving Stirling engine mechanical components. Due to the long life requirement of 17 years and the dynamic nature of the Stirling engine, the ASRG project faced some unique challenges trying to establish full confidence that the power supply will function reliably over the mission life. These unique challenges resulted in the development of an overall life certification plan that emphasizes long-term Stirling engine test and inspection when analysis is not practical. The ASRG life certification plan developed is described.

  7. Technology demonstration of a free-piston stirling advanced radioisotope space power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Maurice A.; Qiu, Songgang; Olan, Ronald W.; Erbeznik, Raymond M.

    1999-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors (Stirling engine with integral linear alternator) are a mature technology with demonstrated long-life, maintenance-free, degradation-free operation exceeding 46,000 hours (5+ years) on one unit. Tens of thousands of hours have been accumulated on numerous systems in beta trials, plus more than 8 million flexure-hours (900 flexure-years) on the most critical component (flexure bearings), all with no failures when operated within specifications. Vibration is a key concern for Stirling convertors in space. Recent tests have demonstrated a factor of 50 reduction in vibration, relative to a single convertor, by coupling two convertors mechanically and electrically. Even though the measured vibration level is below Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) specified vibration objectives, demonstration of an additional factor of 10 vibration reduction is pending with an active vibration reduction system. Stirling cycle efficiency is well established. A four-convertor 150-W(e) end of mission (EOM) power system for deep space missions is projected to require only three general purpose heat source (GPHS) modules with conservative Inconel 718 heater heads, leaving significant efficiency improvement potential when used with higher temperature materials. Even in the unlikely scenario of one inoperative convertor, the other three convertors ramp up to provide full output. A two-convertor demonstration system, representative of one-half of a 150-W(e) power system, is described in this paper and scheduled to become operational in December 1998.

  8. Report on audit of funding for advanced radioisotope power systems

    SciTech Connect

    1997-10-17

    The U.S. Department of Energy`s (Department) Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Program maintains the sole national capability and facilities to produce radioisotope power systems for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense, and other Federal agencies. Projects are conducted with these agencies in accordance with written agreements and are dependent on cost sharing by the user agencies. For the past seven years the program emphasis has been on providing power systems for NASA`s Cassini mission to Saturn, which was launched earlier this month. We initiated this audit to determine whether the Department received proper reimbursement from NASA for the radioisotope power systems produced.

  9. Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Segmented Thermoelectric Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry

    2004-01-01

    Flight times are long; - Need power systems with >15 years life. Mass is at an absolute premium; - Need power systems with high specific power and scalability. 3 orders of magnitude reduction in solar irradiance from Earth to Pluto. Nuclear power sources preferable. The Overall objective is to develop low mass, high efficiency, low-cost Advanced Radioisotope Power System with double the Specific Power and Efficiency over state-of-the-art Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs).

  10. NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Development Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Sankovic, John; Wilt, David; Abelson, Robert D.; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre

    2007-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (ARPS) project is developing the next generation of radioisotope power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that cannot be met by either photovoltaic systems or by current radioisotope power systems (RPSs). Requirements of advanced RPSs include high efficiency and high specific power (watts/kilogram) in order to meet future mission requirements with less radioisotope fuel and lower mass so that these systems can meet requirements for a variety of future space applications, including continual operation surface missions, outer-planetary missions, and solar probe. These advances would enable a factor of 2 to 4 decrease in the amount of fuel required to generate electrical power. Advanced RPS development goals also include long-life, reliability, and scalability. This paper provides an update on the contractual efforts under the Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology (RPCT) NASA Research Announcement (NRA) for research and development of Stirling, thermoelectric, and thermophotovoltaic power conversion technologies. The paper summarizes the current RPCT NRA efforts with a brief description of the effort, a status and/or summary of the contractor's key accomplishments, a discussion of upcoming plans, and a discussion of relevant system-level benefits and implications. The paper also provides a general discussion of the benefits from the development of these advanced power conversion technologies and the eventual payoffs to future missions (discussing system benefits due to overall improvements in efficiency, specific power, etc.).

  11. Realistic Specific Power Expectations for Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2006-01-01

    Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) are being considered for a wide range of future NASA space science and exploration missions. Generally, RPS offer the advantages of high reliability, long life, and predictable power production regardless of operating environment. Previous RPS, in the form of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG), have been used successfully on many NASA missions including Apollo, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo. NASA is currently evaluating design options for the next generation of RPS. Of particular interest is the use of advanced, higher efficiency power conversion to replace the previous thermoelectric devices. Higher efficiency reduces the quantity of radioisotope fuel and potentially improves the RPS specific power (watts per kilogram). Power conversion options include Segmented Thermoelectric (STE), Stirling, Brayton, and Thermophotovoltaic (TPV). This paper offers an analysis of the advanced 100 watt-class RPS options and provides credible projections for specific power. Based on the analysis presented, RPS specific power values greater than 10 W/kg appear unlikely.

  12. Using SpaceClaim/TD Direct for Modeling Components with Complex Geometries for the Thermal Desktop-Based Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fabanich, William

    2014-01-01

    SpaceClaim/TD Direct has been used extensively in the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) thermal model. This paper outlines the workflow for that aspect of the task and includes proposed best practices and lessons learned. The ASRG thermal model was developed to predict component temperatures and power output and to provide insight into the prime contractors thermal modeling efforts. The insulation blocks, heat collectors, and cold side adapter flanges (CSAFs) were modeled with this approach. The model was constructed using mostly TD finite difference (FD) surfaces solids. However, some complex geometry could not be reproduced with TD primitives while maintaining the desired degree of geometric fidelity. Using SpaceClaim permitted the import of original CAD files and enabled the defeaturing repair of those geometries. TD Direct (a SpaceClaim add-on from CRTech) adds features that allowed the mark-up of that geometry. These so-called mark-ups control how finite element (FE) meshes were generated and allowed the tagging of features (e.g. edges, solids, surfaces). These tags represent parameters that include: submodels, material properties, material orienters, optical properties, and radiation analysis groups. TD aliases were used for most tags to allow analysis to be performed with a variety of parameter values. Domain-tags were also attached to individual and groups of surfaces and solids to allow them to be used later within TD to populate objects like, for example, heaters and contactors. These tools allow the user to make changes to the geometry in SpaceClaim and then easily synchronize the mesh in TD without having to redefine these objects each time as one would if using TD Mesher.The use of SpaceClaim/TD Direct has helped simplify the process for importing existing geometries and in the creation of high fidelity FE meshes to represent complex parts. It has also saved time and effort in the subsequent analysis.

  13. Using SpaceClaimTD Direct for Modeling Components with Complex Geometries for the Thermal Desktop-Based Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fabanich, William A., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    SpaceClaim/TD Direct has been used extensively in the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) thermal model. This paper outlines the workflow for that aspect of the task and includes proposed best practices and lessons learned. The ASRG thermal model was developed to predict component temperatures and power output and to provide insight into the prime contractor's thermal modeling efforts. The insulation blocks, heat collectors, and cold side adapter flanges (CSAFs) were modeled with this approach. The model was constructed using mostly TD finite difference (FD) surfaces/solids. However, some complex geometry could not be reproduced with TD primitives while maintaining the desired degree of geometric fidelity. Using SpaceClaim permitted the import of original CAD files and enabled the defeaturing/repair of those geometries. TD Direct (a SpaceClaim add-on from CRTech) adds features that allowed the "mark-up" of that geometry. These so-called "mark-ups" control how finite element (FE) meshes are to be generated through the "tagging" of features (e.g. edges, solids, surfaces). These tags represent parameters that include: submodels, material properties, material orienters, optical properties, and radiation analysis groups. TD aliases were used for most tags to allow analysis to be performed with a variety of parameter values. "Domain-tags" were also attached to individual and groups of surfaces and solids to allow them to be used later within TD to populate objects like, for example, heaters and contactors. These tools allow the user to make changes to the geometry in SpaceClaim and then easily synchronize the mesh in TD without having to redefine the objects each time as one would if using TDMesher. The use of SpaceClaim/TD Direct helps simplify the process for importing existing geometries and in the creation of high fidelity FE meshes to represent complex parts. It also saves time and effort in the subsequent analysis.

  14. Performance tuned radioisotope thermophotovoltaic space power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horne, W. E.; Morgan, M. D.; Saban, S. B.

    1998-01-01

    The trend in space exploration is to use many small, low-cost, special-purpose satellites instead of the large, high-cost, multipurpose satellites used in the past. As a result of this new trend, there is a need for lightweight, efficient, and compact radioisotope fueled electrical power generators. This paper presents an improved design for a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) space power system in the 10 W to 20 W class which promises up to 37.6 watts at 30.1% efficiency and 25 W/kg specific power. The RTPV power system concept has been studied and compared to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) radioisotope, Stirling generators and alkali metal thermal electric conversion (AMTEC) generators (Schock, 1995). The studies indicate that RTPV has the potential to be the lightest weight, most efficient and most reliable of the three concepts. However, in spite of the efficiency and light weight, the size of the thermal radiator required to eliminate excess heat from the PV cells and the lack of actual system operational performance data are perceived as obstacles to RTPV acceptance for space applications. Between 1994 and 1997 EDTEK optimized the key converter components for an RTPV generator under Department of Energy (DOE) funding administered via subcontracts to Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) and EG&G Mound Applied Technologies Laboratory (Horne, 1995). The optimized components included a resonant micromesh infrared bandpass filter, low-bandgap GaSb PV cells and cell arrays. Parametric data from these components were supplied to OSC who developed and analyzed the performance of 100 W, 20 W, and 10 W RTPV generators. These designs are described in references (Schock 1994, 1995 and 1996). Since the performance of each class of supply was roughly equivalent and simply scaled with size, this paper will consider the OSC 20 W design as a baseline. The baseline 20-W RTPV design was developed by Schock, et al of OSC and has been presented elsewhere. The

  15. Outer Planet Exploration with Advanced Radioisotope Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Gefert, Leon; Patterson, Michael; Schreiber, Jeffrey; Benson, Scott; McAdams, Jim; Ostdiek, Paul

    2002-01-01

    In response to a request by the NASA Deep Space Exploration Technology Program, NASA Glenn Research Center conducted a study to identify advanced technology options to perform a Pluto/Kuiper mission without depending on a 2004 Jupiter Gravity Assist, but still arriving before 2020. A concept using a direct trajectory with small, sub-kilowatt ion thrusters and Stirling radioisotope power systems was shown to allow the same or smaller launch vehicle class as the chemical 2004 baseline and allow a launch slip and still flyby in the 2014 to 2020 timeframe. With this promising result the study was expanded to use a radioisotope power source for small electrically propelled orbiter spacecraft for outer planet targets such as Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

  16. Performance tuned radioisotope thermophotovoltaic space power system

    SciTech Connect

    Horne, W.E.; Morgan, M.D.; Saban, S.B.

    1998-01-01

    The trend in space exploration is to use many small, low-cost, special-purpose satellites instead of the large, high-cost, multipurpose satellites used in the past. As a result of this new trend, there is a need for lightweight, efficient, and compact radioisotope fueled electrical power generators. This paper presents an improved design for a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) space power system in the 10 W to 20 W class which promises up to 37.6 watts at 30.1{percent} efficiency and 25 W/kg specific power. The RTPV power system concept has been studied and compared to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) radioisotope, Stirling generators and alkali metal thermal electric conversion (AMTEC) generators (Schock, 1995). The studies indicate that RTPV has the potential to be the lightest weight, most efficient and most reliable of the three concepts. However, in spite of the efficiency and light weight, the size of the thermal radiator required to eliminate excess heat from the PV cells and the lack of actual system operational performance data are perceived as obstacles to RTPV acceptance for space applications. Between 1994 and 1997 EDTEK optimized the key converter components for an RTPV generator under Department of Energy (DOE) funding administered via subcontracts to Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) and EG&G Mound Applied Technologies Laboratory (Horne, 1995). The optimized components included a resonant micromesh infrared bandpass filter, low-bandgap GaSb PV cells and cell arrays. Parametric data from these components were supplied to OSC who developed and analyzed the performance of 100 W, 20 W, and 10 W RTPV generators. These designs are described in references (Schock 1994, 1995 and 1996). Since the performance of each class of supply was roughly equivalent and simply scaled with size, this paper will consider the OSC 20 W design as a baseline. The baseline 20-W RTPV design was developed by Schock, et al of OSC and has been presented elsewhere

  17. Space radioisotope power source requirements update and technology status

    SciTech Connect

    Mondt, J.F.

    1998-07-01

    The requirements for a space advanced radioisotope power source are based on potential deep space missions being investigated for the NASA Advanced Space Systems Development Program. Since deep space missions have not been approved, updating requirements is a continuos parallel process of designing the spacecraft and the science instruments to accomplish the potential missions and developing the power source technology to meet changing requirements. There are at least two potential missions, Pluto/Kuiper Express and Europa Orbiter, which may require space advanced radioisotope power sources. The Europa Orbiter has been selected as the preferred first potential mission. However the final decision will depend on the technology readiness of all the subsystems and the project must be able to switch to Pluto Kuiper Express as the first mission as late as the beginning of fiscal year 2000. Therefore the requirements for the power source will cover both potential missions. As the deep space spacecraft design evolves to meet the science requirements and the Alkali Metal Thermal to Electric (AMTEC) technology matures the advanced radioisotope power source design requirements are updated The AMTEC technology developed to date uses stainless steel for the sodium containment material. The higher efficiency required for the space power system dictates that the AMTEC technology must operate at a higher temperature than possible with stainless steel. Therefore refractory materials have been selected as the baseline material for the AMTEC cell. These refractory materials are Nb1Zr for the hot side and Nb1Zr or Nb10Hf1Ti for the cold side. These materials were selected so the AMTEC cell can operate at 1150K to 1350K hot side temperature and 600K to 700K cold side temperature and meet the present power and mass requirements using four to six general purpose heat source modules as the heat source. The new containment materials and brazes will be evaluated as to lifetime

  18. Thermal Model Predictions of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen J.; Fabanich, William Anthony; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    This presentation describes the capabilities of three-dimensional thermal power model of advanced stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG). The performance of the ASRG is presented for different scenario, such as Venus flyby with or without the auxiliary cooling system.

  19. Advanced Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Research and Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology program is developing next generation power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that cannot be met by either the ubiquitous photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power System (RPS) technology. Performance goals of advanced radioisotope power systems include improvement over the state-of-practice General Purpose Heat Source/Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator by providing significantly higher efficiency to reduce the number of radioisotope fuel modules, and increase specific power (watts/kilogram). Other Advanced RPS goals include safety, long-life, reliability, scalability, multi-mission capability, resistance to radiation, and minimal interference with the scientific payload. NASA has awarded ten contracts in the technology areas of Brayton, Stirling, Thermoelectric, and Thermophotovoltaic power conversion including five development contracts that deal with more mature technologies and five research contracts. The Advanced RPS Systems Assessment Team includes members from NASA GRC, JPL, DOE and Orbital Sciences whose function is to review the technologies being developed under the ten Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology contracts and assess their relevance to NASA's future missions. Presented is an overview of the ten radioisotope power conversion technology contracts and NASA's Advanced RPS Systems Assessment Team.

  20. GRC Supporting Technology for NASA's Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2008-01-01

    From 1999 to 2006, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) supported a NASA project to develop a high-efficiency, nominal 110-We Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for potential use on NASA missions. Lockheed Martin was selected as the System Integration Contractor for the SRG110, under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). The potential applications included deep space missions, and Mars rovers. The project was redirected in 2006 to make use of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) that was being developed by Sunpower, Inc. under contract to GRC, which would reduce the mass of the generator and increase the power output. This change would approximately double the specific power and result in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The SRG110 supporting technology effort at GRC was replanned to support the integration of the Sunpower convertor and the ASRG. This paper describes the ASRG supporting technology effort at GRC and provides details of the contributions in some of the key areas. The GRC tasks include convertor extended-operation testing in air and in thermal vacuum environments, heater head life assessment, materials studies, permanent magnet characterization and aging tests, structural dynamics testing, electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization, evaluation of organic materials, reliability studies, and analysis to support controller development.

  1. GRC Supporting Technology for NASA's Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2008-01-01

    From 1999-2006, the Glenn Research Center (GRC) supported a NASA project to develop a high-efficiency, nominal 110-We Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for potential use on NASA missions. Lockheed Martin was selected as the System Integration Contractor for the SRG110, under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). The potential applications included deep space missions, and Mars rovers. The project was redirected in 2006 to make use of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) that was being developed by Sunpower, Inc. under contract to GRC, which would reduce the mass of the generator and increase the power output. This change would approximately double the specific power and result in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The SRG110 supporting technology effort at GRC was replanned to support the integration of the Sunpower convertor and the ASRG. This paper describes the ASRG supporting technology effort at GRC and provides details of the contributions in some of the key areas. The GRC tasks include convertor extended-operation testing in air and in thermal vacuum environments, heater head life assessment, materials studies, permanent magnet characterization and aging tests, structural dynamics testing, electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization, evaluation of organic materials, reliability studies, and analysis to support controller development.

  2. Reliability Demonstration Approach for Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ha, CHuong; Zampino, Edward; Penswick, Barry; Spronz, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Developed for future space missions as a high-efficiency power system, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) has a design life requirement of 14 yr in space following a potential storage of 3 yr after fueling. In general, the demonstration of long-life dynamic systems remains difficult in part due to the perception that the wearout of moving parts cannot be minimized, and associated failures are unpredictable. This paper shows a combination of systematic analytical methods, extensive experience gained from technology development, and well-planned tests can be used to ensure a high level reliability of ASRG. With this approach, all potential risks from each life phase of the system are evaluated and the mitigation adequately addressed. This paper also provides a summary of important test results obtained to date for ASRG and the planned effort for system-level extended operation.

  3. Testing to Characterize the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward; Schreiber, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a high efficiency generator, is being considered for space missions. Lockheed Martin designed and fabricated an engineering unit (EU), the ASRG EU, under contract to the Department of Energy. This unit is currently undergoing extended operation testing at the NASA Glenn Research Center to generate performance data and validate life and reliability predictions for the generator and the Stirling convertors. It has also undergone performance tests to characterize generator operation while varying control parameters and system inputs. This paper summarizes and explains test results in the context of designing operating strategies for the generator during a space mission and notes expected differences between the EU performance and future generators.

  4. Safe radioisotope thermoelectric generators and heat sources for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, R. C.; Ambrosi, R. M.; Bannister, N. P.; Howe, S. D.; Atkinson, H. V.

    2008-07-01

    Several isotopes are examined as alternatives to 238Pu that is traditionally used in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) and heating units (RHUs). The radioisotopes discussed include 241Am, 208Po, 210Po, and 90Sr. The aim of this study is to facilitate the design of an RTG with a minimal radiation dose rate and mass including any required shielding. Applications of interest are primarily space and planetary exploration. In order to evaluate the properties of the alternative radioisotopes a Monte Carlo model was developed to examine the radiation protection aspect of the study. The thermodynamics of the power generation process is examined and possible materials for the housing and encapsulation of the radioisotopes are proposed. In this study we also present a historical review of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) and the thermoelectric conversion mechanism in order to provide a direct comparison with the performance of our proposed alternative isotope systems.

  5. Advanced Thermoelectric Materials for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry; Hunag, C.-K.; Cheng, S.; Chi, S. C.; Gogna, P.; Paik, J.; Ravi, V.; Firdosy, S.; Ewell, R.

    2008-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the progress and processes involved in creating new and advanced thermoelectric materials to be used in the design of new radioiootope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). In a program with Department of Energy, NASA is working to develop the next generation of RTGs, that will provide significant benefits for deep space missions that NASA will perform. These RTG's are planned to be capable of delivering up to 17% system efficiency and over 12 W/kg specific power. The thermoelectric materials being developed are an important step in this process.

  6. The U.S. Department of Energy advanced radioisotope power system program

    SciTech Connect

    Herrera, L.

    1998-07-01

    Radioisotope power systems for spacecraft are and will continue to be an enabling power technology for deep space exploration. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for the Nation's development of Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (ARPS) to meet harsh environments and long life requirements. The DOE has provided radioisotope power systems for space missions since 1961. The radioisotope power system used for the recent Cassini mission included three Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) which provided a total of 888 Watts electric at 6.7% conversion efficiency. The DOE's goal is to develop a higher efficiency and lower mass ARPS for future deep space missions. The ARPS program involves the design, development, fabrication, and qualification, and safety analysis of the ARPS units. Organizations that support the development, fabrication and testing of the ARPS include the Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA), Advanced Modular Power Systems (AMPS), Mound, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The Europa Orbiter and Pluto/Kuiper Express missions represent the near term programs targeted for the application of ARPS in addressing the issues and questions existing for deep space exploration.

  7. Status of NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Research and Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Anderson, David J.; Tuttle, Karen L.; Tew, Roy C.

    2006-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) development program is funding the advancement of next generation power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that can not be met by either the ubiquitous photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). Requirements of advanced radioisotope power systems include high efficiency and high specific power (watts/kilogram) in order to meet mission requirements with less radioisotope fuel and lower mass. Other Advanced RPS development goals include long-life, reliability, and scalability so that these systems can meet requirements for a variety of future space applications including continual operation surface missions, outer-planetary missions, and solar probe. This paper provides an update on the Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Project which awarded ten Phase I contracts for research and development of a variety of power conversion technologies consisting of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectrics, and thermophotovoltaics. Three of the contracts continue during the current Phase II in the areas of thermoelectric and Stirling power conversion. The accomplishments to date of the contractors, project plans, and status will be summarized.

  8. Status of NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Research and Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Anderson, David J.; Tuttle, Karen L.; Tew, Roy C.

    2006-01-01

    NASA s Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) development program is funding the advancement of next generation power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that can not be met by either the ubiquitous photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). Requirements of advanced radioisotope power systems include high efficiency and high specific power (watts/kilogram) in order to meet mission requirements with less radioisotope fuel and lower mass. Other Advanced RPS development goals include long-life, reliability, and scalability so that these systems can meet requirements for a variety of future space applications including continual operation surface missions, outer-planetary missions, and solar probe. This paper provides an update on the Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Project which awarded ten Phase I contracts for research and development of a variety of power conversion technologies consisting of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectrics, and thermophotovoltaics. Three of the contracts continue during the current Phase II in the areas of thermoelectric and Stirling power conversion. The accomplishments to date of the contractors, project plans, and status will be summarized.

  9. Advanced Subcritical Assistance Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator: An Imperative Solution for the Future of NASA Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arias, F. J.

    A new generation of radioisotope thermoelectrical generator is proposed for very long space exploration missions. The Advanced Subcritical Assistance Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (ASA-RTG) amplify the power from natural decay of pu-238 by a small subcritical multiplication produced from the small neutron background generated from (α, n) reactions between the α particles from Pu-238 and beryllium, lithium or other low-Z isotope, extracting the maximum advantage and performance from the precious α disintegration, and then of the very scarce pu-238. The process is self controlled by the natural decay of Pu-238 with the progressive reduction of the power output (RTG) and additionally and simultaneously compensate by the natural decay of a neutronic poisson which increase simultaneously the subcritical multiplication resulting in a contrary effect, i.e., causing an increase in the power. ASA-RTG is not in conflict with previous RTG, and could fit within the type of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator developed for NASA space missions as the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) and the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG).

  10. Development of Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems for NASA's Future Science Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misra, A. K.

    2005-12-01

    This presentation will provide an overview of NASA's current efforts on development of advanced radioisotope power systems (RPS) for future science missions. The current efforts include development of flight qualified Multimission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) and Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) systems with nominal 100 watts power level and capability to operate in both deep space and planetary environments. In addition, advanced technology development efforts are being conducted to increase the specific power of both RTG and SRG systems to enable future science missions. The efforts also include new technologies that have the potential to provide significant increases in specific power of RPS system. A notional RPS technology development roadmap will be presented and various potential mission opportunities identified.

  11. An Advanced Turbo-Brayton Converter for Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagarola, Mark V.; Izenson, Michael G.; Breedlove, Jeffrey J.; O'Connor, George M.; Ketchum, Andrew C.; Jetley, Richard L.; Simons, James K.

    2005-02-01

    Past work has shown that Brayton power converters are an attractive option for high power, long-duration space missions. More recently, Creare has shown that Brayton technology could be scaled with high efficiency and specific power to lower power levels suitable for radioisotope power conversion systems. Creare is currently leading the development of an advanced turbo-Brayton converter under NASA's Prometheus Program. The converter design is based on space-proven cryocooler technologies that have been shown to be safe; to provide long, maintenance-free lifetimes; and to have high reliability, negligible vibration emittance, and low EMI/EMC. The predicted performance of a converter at the beginning of life is greater than 20% (including electronic inefficiencies and overhead) with a converter specific power of greater than 8 We/kg for a test unit and greater than 15 We/kg for a flight unit. The degradation in performance over a 14-year mission lifetime is predicted to be negligible, and the primary life limiting factor is not expected to be an issue for greater than twice the mission duration. Work during the last year focused on the material and fabrication issues associated with a high temperature turbine and a lightweight recuperator, and the performance issues associated with the high-temperature insulation and power conversion electronics. The development of the converter is on schedule. Thermal vacuum testing to demonstrate a technology readiness level of 5 is currently planned for 2006.

  12. Parametric Study of Radiator Concepts for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System Applicable to Deep Space Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Juhasz, Albert J.; Tew, Roy C.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2000-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) and the NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a Stirling converter for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft onboard electric power for NASA deep space missions. This high-efficiency converter is being evaluated as an alternative to replace the much lower efficiency radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). The current power requirement (six years after beginning of mission (BOM) for a mission to Jupiter) is 210 W(sub e) (watts electric) to be generated by two separate power systems, one on each side of the spacecraft. Both two-converter and four-converter system designs are being considered, depending on the amount of required redundancy.

  13. Advanced radioisotope power source options for Pluto Express

    SciTech Connect

    Underwood, M.L.

    1995-12-31

    In the drive to reduce mass and cost, Pluto Express is investigating using an advanced power conversion technology in a small Radioisotope Power Source (RPS) to deliver the required mission power of 74 W(electric) at end of mission. Until this year the baseline power source under consideration has been a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG). This RTG would be a scaled down GPHS RTG with an inventory of 6 General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHS) and a mass of 17.8 kg. High efficiency, advanced technology conversion options are being examined to lower the power source mass and to reduce the amount of radioisotope needed. Three technologies are being considered as the advanced converter technology: the Alkali Metal Thermal-to-Electric Converter (AMTEC), Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) converters, and Stirling Engines. Conceptual designs for each of these options have been prepared. Each converter would require only 2 GPHSs to provide the mission power and would have a mass of 6.1, 7.2, and 12.4 kg for AMTEC, TPV, and Stirling Engines respectively. This paper reviews the status of each technology and the projected performance of an advanced RPS based on each technology. Based on the projected performance and spacecraft integration issues, Pluto Express would prefer to use the AMTEC based RPS. However, in addition to technical performance, selection of a power technology will be based on many other factors.

  14. Stirling Radioisotope Power System as an Alternative for NASAs Deep Space Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaltens, R. K.; Mason, L. S.; Schreiber, J. G.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System (SRPS) to provide on-board electric power for future NASA deep space missions. The SRPS currently being developed provides about 100 watts and reduces the amount of radioisotope fuel by a factor of four over conventional Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). The present SRPS design has a specific power of approximately 4 W/kg which is comparable to an RTG. GRC estimates for advanced versions of the SRPS with improved heat source integration, lightweight Stirling convertors, composite radiators, and chip-packaged controllers improves the specific mass to about 8 W/kg. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. Radioisotope Power: A Key Technology for Deep Space Explorations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George R.; Sutliff, Thomas J.; Duddzinski, Leonard

    2009-01-01

    A Radioisotope Power System (RPS) generates power by converting the heat released from the nuclear decay of radioactive isotopes, such as Plutonium-238 (Pu-238), into electricity. First used in space by the U.S. in 1961, these devices have enabled some of the most challenging and exciting space missions in history, including the Pioneer and Voyager probes to the outer solar system; the Apollo lunar surface experiments; the Viking landers; the Ulysses polar orbital mission about the Sun; the Galileo mission to Jupiter; the Cassini mission orbiting Saturn; and the recently launched New Horizons mission to Pluto. Radioisotopes have also served as a versatile heat source for moderating equipment thermal environments on these and many other missions, including the Mars exploration rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The key advantage of RPS is its ability to operate continuously, independent of orientation and distance relative to the Sun. Radioisotope systems are long-lived, rugged, compact, highly reliable, and relatively insensitive to radiation and other environmental effects. As such, they are ideally suited for missions involving long-lived, autonomous operations in the extreme conditions of space and other planetary bodies. This paper reviews the history of RPS for the U.S. space program. It also describes current development of a new Stirling cycle-based generator that will greatly expand the application of nuclear-powered missions in the future.

  16. Radioisotope Power: A Key Technology for Deep Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George; Sutliff, Tom; Dudzinski, Leonard

    2008-01-01

    A Radioisotope Power System (RPS) generates power by converting the heat released from the nuclear decay of radioactive isotopes, such as Plutonium-238 (Pu-238), into electricity. First used in space by the U.S. in 1961, these devices have enabled some of the most challenging and exciting space missions in history, including the Pioneer and Voyager probes to the outer solar system; the Apollo lunar surface experiments; the Viking landers; the Ulysses polar orbital mission about the Sun; the Galileo mission to Jupiter; the Cassini mission orbiting Saturn; and the recently launched New Horizons mission to Pluto. Radioisotopes have also served as a versatile heat source for moderating equipment thermal environments on these and many other missions, including the Mars exploration rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The key advantage of RPS is its ability to operate continuously, independent of orientation and distance relative to the Sun. Radioisotope systems are long-lived, rugged, compact, highly reliable, and relatively insensitive to radiation and other environmental effects. As such, they are ideally suited for missions involving long-lived, autonomous operations in the extreme conditions of space and other planetary bodies. This paper reviews the history of RPS for the U.S. space program. It also describes current development of a new Stirling cycle-based generator that will greatly expand the application of nuclear-powered missions in the future.

  17. Development of a propulsion system and component test facility for advanced radioisotope powered Mars Hopper platforms

    SciTech Connect

    Robert C. O'Brien; Nathan D. Jerred; Steven D. Howe

    2011-02-01

    Verification and validation of design and modeling activities for radioisotope powered Mars Hopper platforms undertaken at the Center for Space Nuclear Research is essential for proof of concept. Previous research at the center has driven the selection of advanced material combinations; some of which require specialized handling capabilities. The development of a closed and contained test facility to forward this research is discussed within this paper.

  18. Metal matrix composite fuel for space radioisotope energy sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, H. R.; Ning, H.; Reece, M. J.; Ambrosi, R. M.; Bannister, N. P.; Stephenson, K.

    2013-02-01

    Radioisotope fuels produce heat that can be used for spacecraft thermal control or converted to electricity. They must retain integrity in the event of destruction or atmospheric entry of the parent spacecraft. Addition of a metal matrix to the actinide oxide could yield a more robust fuel form. Neodymium (III) oxide (Nd2O3) - niobium metal matrix composites were produced using Spark Plasma Sintering; Nd2O3 is a non-radioactive surrogate for americium (III) oxide (Am2O3). Two compositions, 70 and 50 wt% Nd2O3, were mechanically tested under equibiaxial (ring-on-ring) flexure according to ASTM C1499. The addition of the niobium matrix increased the mean flexural strength by a factor of about 2 compared to typical ceramic nuclear fuels, and significantly increased the Weibull modulus to over 20. These improved mechanical properties could result in reduced fuel dispersion in severe accidents and improved safety of space radioisotope power systems.

  19. Safety status of space radioisotope and reactor power sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1990-01-01

    The current overall safety criterion for both radioisotope and reactor power sources is containment or immobilization in the case of a reentry accident. In addition, reactors are designed to remain subcritical under conditions of land impact or water immersion. A very extensive safety test and analysis program was completed on the radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) in use on the Galileo spacecraft and planned for use on the Ulysses spacecraft. The results of this work show that the RTGs will pose little or no risk for any credible accident. The SP-100 space nuclear reactor program has begun addressing its safety criteria, and the design is planned to be such as to ensure meeting the various safety criteria. Preliminary mission risk analyses on SP-100 show the expected value population dose from postulated accidents on the reference mission to be very small. It is concluded that the current US nuclear power sources are the safest flown.

  20. Characterization of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Schifer, Niholas A.

    2016-01-01

    Significant progress was made developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) 140-W radioisotope power system. While the ASRG flight development project has ended, the hardware that was designed and built under the project is continuing to be tested to support future Stirling-based power system development. NASA Glenn Research Center recently completed the assembly of the ASRG Engineering Unit 2 (EU2). The ASRG EU2 consists of the first pair of Sunpower's Advanced Stirling Convertor E3 (ASC-E3) Stirling convertors mounted in an aluminum housing, and Lockheed Martin's Engineering Development Unit (EDU) 4 controller (a fourth-generation controller). The ASC-E3 convertors and Generator Housing Assembly (GHA) closely match the intended ASRG Qualification Unit flight design. A series of tests were conducted to characterize the EU2, its controller, and the convertors in the flight-like GHA. The GHA contained an argon cover gas for these tests. The tests included measurement of convertor, controller, and generator performance and efficiency; quantification of control authority of the controller; disturbance force measurement with varying piston phase and piston amplitude; and measurement of the effect of spacecraft direct current (DC) bus voltage on EU2 performance. The results of these tests are discussed and summarized, providing a basic understanding of EU2 characteristics and the performance and capability of the EDU 4 controller.

  1. NASA Glenn Research Center Support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Wong, Wayne A.

    2015-01-01

    A high-efficiency radioisotope power system was being developed for long-duration NASA space science missions. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) managed a flight contract with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to build Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators (ASRGs), with support from NASA Glenn Research Center. DOE initiated termination of that contract in late 2013, primarily due to budget constraints. Sunpower, Inc., held two parallel contracts to produce Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), one with Lockheed Martin to produce ASC-F flight units, and one with Glenn for the production of ASC-E3 engineering unit "pathfinders" that are built to the flight design. In support of those contracts, Glenn provided testing, materials expertise, Government-furnished equipment, inspection capabilities, and related data products to Lockheed Martin and Sunpower. The technical support included material evaluations, component tests, convertor characterization, and technology transfer. Material evaluations and component tests were performed on various ASC components in order to assess potential life-limiting mechanisms and provide data for reliability models. Convertor level tests were conducted to characterize performance under operating conditions that are representative of various mission conditions. Despite termination of the ASRG flight development contract, NASA continues to recognize the importance of high-efficiency ASC power conversion for Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) and continues investment in the technology, including the continuation of the ASC-E3 contract. This paper describes key Government support for the ASRG project and future tests to be used to provide data for ongoing reliability assessments.

  2. Characterization of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator EU2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2015-01-01

    Significant progress was made developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a 140-watt radioisotope power system. While the ASRG flight development project has ended, the hardware that was designed and built under the project is continuing to be tested to support future Stirling-based power system development. NASA GRC recently completed the assembly of the ASRG Engineering Unit 2 (EU2). The ASRG EU2 consists of the first pair of Sunpower's ASC-E3 Stirling convertors mounted in an aluminum housing, and Lockheed Martin's Engineering Development Unit (EDU) 4 controller (a fourth generation controller). The ASC-E3 convertors and Generator Housing Assembly (GHA) closely match the intended ASRG Qualification Unit flight design. A series of tests were conducted to characterize the EU2, its controller, and the convertors in the flight-like GHA. The GHA contained an argon cover gas for these tests. The tests included: measurement of convertor, controller, and generator performance and efficiency, quantification of control authority of the controller, disturbance force measurement with varying piston phase and piston amplitude, and measurement of the effect of spacecraft DC bus voltage on EU2 performance. The results of these tests are discussed and summarized, providing a basic understanding of EU2 characteristics and the performance and capability of the EDU 4 controller.

  3. Advanced Stirling Convertor Development for NASA Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wilson, Scott D.; Collins, Josh

    2015-01-01

    Sunpower Inc.'s Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) initiated development under contract to the NASA Glenn Research Center and after a series of successful demonstrations, the ASC began transitioning from a technology development project to a flight development project. The ASC has very high power conversion efficiency making it attractive for future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) in order to make best use of the low plutonium-238 fuel inventory in the United States. In recent years, the ASC became part of the NASA and Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) Integrated Project. Sunpower held two parallel contracts to produce ASCs, one with the DOE and Lockheed Martin to produce the ASC-F flight convertors, and one with NASA Glenn for the production of ASC-E3 engineering units, the initial units of which served as production pathfinders. The integrated ASC technical team successfully overcame various technical challenges that led to the completion and delivery of the first two pairs of flightlike ASC-E3 by 2013. However, in late fall 2013, the DOE initiated termination of the Lockheed Martin ASRG flight development contract driven primarily by budget constraints. NASA continues to recognize the importance of high-efficiency ASC power conversion for RPS and continues investment in the technology including the continuation of ASC-E3 production at Sunpower and the assembly of the ASRG Engineering Unit #2. This paper provides a summary of ASC technical accomplishments, overview of tests at Glenn, plans for continued ASC production at Sunpower, and status of Stirling technology development.

  4. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Sample Return

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, Robert J.; /SLAC

    2009-07-14

    The need to answer basic questions regarding the origin of the Solar System will motivate robotic sample return missions to destinations like Pluto, its satellite Charon, and objects in the Kuiper belt. To keep the mission duration short enough to be of interest, sample return from objects farther out in the Solar System requires increasingly higher return velocities. A sample return mission involves several complicated steps to reach an object and obtain a sample, but only the interplanetary return phase of the mission is addressed in this paper. Radioisotope electric propulsion is explored in this parametric study as a means to propel small, dedicated return vehicles for transferring kilogram-size samples from deep space to Earth. Return times for both Earth orbital rendezvous and faster, direct atmospheric re-entry trajectories are calculated for objects as far away as 100 AU. Chemical retro-rocket braking at Earth is compared to radioisotope electric propulsion but the limited deceleration capability of chemical rockets forces the return trajectories to be much slower.

  5. Development of a Power Electronics Controller for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leland, Douglas K.; Priest, Joel F.; Keiter, Douglas E.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2008-01-01

    Under a U.S. Department of Energy program for radioisotope power systems, Lockheed Martin is developing an Engineering Unit of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). This is an advanced version of the previously reported SRG110 generator. The ASRG uses Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) developed by Sunpower Incorporated under a NASA Research Announcement contract. The ASRG makes use of a Stirling controller based on power electronics that eliminates the tuning capacitors. The power electronics controller synchronizes dual-opposed convertors and maintains a fixed frequency operating point. The controller is single-fault tolerant and uses high-frequency pulse width modulation to create the sinusoidal currents that are nearly in phase with the piston velocity, eliminating the need for large series tuning capacitors. Sunpower supports this effort through an extension of their controller development intended for other applications. Glenn Research Center (GRC) supports this effort through system dynamic modeling, analysis and test support. The ASRG design arrived at a new baseline based on a system-level trade study and extensive feedback from mission planners on the necessity of single-fault tolerance. This paper presents the baseline design with an emphasis on the power electronics controller detailed design concept that will meet space mission requirements including single fault tolerance.

  6. Cascaded Thermoelectric Converters for Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Saber, Hamed H.

    2004-02-01

    Three Cascaded Thermoelectric Converters (CTCs) are optimized for potential use in Multi-Mission Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (MM-ARPS) for electrical powers up to 1 kWe, or even higher, in support of 7-10 year missions. The peak efficiencies of these CTCs of 9.43% to 14.32% are 40% to 110% higher than that of SiGe in State-of-the-Art (SOA) Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). Such high efficiencies would significantly reduce the amount of 238PuO2 fuel and the total system mass for a lower mission cost. Each CTC is comprised of a SiGe top unicouple that is thermally, but not electrically, coupled to a bottom unicouple with one of the following three choices of thermoelectric materials: (a) p-leg of TAGS-85 and n-leg of 2N-PbTe (b) p-leg of CeFe3.5Co0.5Sb12 and n-leg of CoSb3; and (c) segmented p-leg of CeFe3.5Co0.5Sb12 and Zn4Sb3 and n-leg of CoSb3. The length of the top and bottom unicouples is 10 mm, but the cross-sectional areas of the n- and p-legs of the unicouples are optimized for maximum efficiency operation. They vary with the thermal power inputs of 1, 2, and 3 Wth per SiGe unicouple, and the heat rejection temperature of 375 K, 475 K, and 575 K, from the bottom unicouple. Such geometrical optimization is at nominal hot shoe temperature of 1273 K for the SiGe unicouple and cold shoe temperature of either 780 K or 980 K, depending on the materials of the bottom unicouples. The hot shoe temperature of the bottom unicouples is 20 K lower than the cold shoe of the top SiGe unicouple, but the rate of heat input is the same as the rate of heat rejection from the top unicouple. The present results are conservative as they assume a contact resistance of 150 μΩ-cm2 per leg for the top and the bottom unicouples in the CTCs; however, decreasing this resistance to 50 μΩ-cm2 per leg could increase the current efficiency estimates by an additional 1 - 2 percentage points.

  7. Thermal Model Predictions of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen J.; Fabanich, William Anthony; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents recent thermal model results of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The three-dimensional (3D) ASRG thermal power model was built using the Thermal Desktop(trademark) thermal analyzer. The model was correlated with ASRG engineering unit test data and ASRG flight unit predictions from Lockheed Martin's (LM's) I-deas(trademark) TMG thermal model. The auxiliary cooling system (ACS) of the ASRG is also included in the ASRG thermal model. The ACS is designed to remove waste heat from the ASRG so that it can be used to heat spacecraft components. The performance of the ACS is reported under nominal conditions and during a Venus flyby scenario. The results for the nominal case are validated with data from Lockheed Martin. Transient thermal analysis results of ASRG for a Venus flyby with a representative trajectory are also presented. In addition, model results of an ASRG mounted on a Cassini-like spacecraft with a sunshade are presented to show a way to mitigate the high temperatures of a Venus flyby. It was predicted that the sunshade can lower the temperature of the ASRG alternator by 20 C for the representative Venus flyby trajectory. The 3D model also was modified to predict generator performance after a single Advanced Stirling Convertor failure. The geometry of the Microtherm HT insulation block on the outboard side was modified to match deformation and shrinkage observed during testing of a prototypic ASRG test fixture by LM. Test conditions and test data were used to correlate the model by adjusting the thermal conductivity of the deformed insulation to match the post-heat-dump steady state temperatures. Results for these conditions showed that the performance of the still-functioning inboard ACS was unaffected.

  8. External Magnetic Field Reduction Techniques for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedra, Janis M.; Geng, Steven M.

    2013-01-01

    Linear alternators coupled to high efficiency Stirling engines are strong candidates for thermal-to-electric power conversion in space. However, the magnetic field emissions, both AC and DC, of these permanent magnet excited alternators can interfere with sensitive instrumentation onboard a spacecraft. Effective methods to mitigate the AC and DC electromagnetic interference (EMI) from solenoidal type linear alternators (like that used in the Advanced Stirling Convertor) have been developed for potential use in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator. The methods developed avoid the complexity and extra mass inherent in data extraction from multiple sensors or the use of shielding. This paper discusses these methods, and also provides experimental data obtained during breadboard testing of both AC and DC external magnetic field devices.

  9. System-Level Testing of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Hardware

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Jack; Wiser, Jack; Brown, Greg; Florin, Dominic; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2014-01-01

    To support future NASA deep space missions, a radioisotope power system utilizing Stirling power conversion technology was under development. This development effort was performed under the joint sponsorship of the Department of Energy and NASA, until its termination at the end of 2013 due to budget constraints. The higher conversion efficiency of the Stirling cycle compared with that of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) used in previous missions (Viking, Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, Pluto New Horizons and Mars Science Laboratory) offers the advantage of a four-fold reduction in Pu-238 fuel, thereby extending its limited domestic supply. As part of closeout activities, system-level testing of flight-like Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) with a flight-like ASC Controller Unit (ACU) was performed in February 2014. This hardware is the most representative of the flight design tested to date. The test fully demonstrates the following ACU and system functionality: system startup; ASC control and operation at nominal and worst-case operating conditions; power rectification; DC output power management throughout nominal and out-of-range host voltage levels; ACU fault management, and system command / telemetry via MIL-STD 1553 bus. This testing shows the viability of such a system for future deep space missions and bolsters confidence in the maturity of the flight design.

  10. Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Sources and Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Dankanich, John; Colozza, Anthony; Schmitz, Paul; Khan, Omair; Drexler, Jon; Fittje, James

    2011-01-01

    A joint NASA GRC/JPL design study was performed for the NASA Radioisotope Power Systems Office to explore the use of radioisotope electric propulsion for flagship class missions. The Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter is a flagship class mission concept projected for launch in the 2030 timeframe. Due to the large size of a flagship class science mission larger radioisotope power system building blocks were conceptualized to provide the roughly 4 kW of power needed by the NEXT ion propulsion system and the spacecraft. Using REP the spacecraft is able to rendezvous with and orbit a Kuiper Belt object in 16 years using either eleven (no spare) 420 W advanced RTGs or nine (with a spare) 550 W advanced Stirling Radioisotope systems. The design study evaluated integrating either system and estimated impacts on cost as well as required General Purpose Heat Source requirements.

  11. A roadmap for the development and validation of coated particle fuel for future space radioisotope heater units (RHUs) and radioisotope power systems (RPSs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sholtis, Joseph A.

    2001-02-01

    In early 1999, coated particle fuel was identified as offering promising advancements in design flexibility, performance, specific mass and volume, as well as safety for future space radioisotope heater units (RHUs) and radioisotope power systems (RPSs). Subsequent study, conducted during Fiscal Year 1999, provided confidence that these potential benefits were substantial and demonstrable if a modest follow-on investigative test effort was pursued. This paper lays out a roadmap for both immediate and near-term decision making, as well as any full-scale development and validation of coated particle fuel undertaken for future space RHUs, and RPSs. In an effort to obtain adequate and timely information at a reasonable cost for immediate and near-term decision making, as well as any subsequent development, production, and application decisions, a four-phased regimen of testing is identified. The four phases of testing are: (1) Pre-Decisional Testing: (2) Pre-Production Analytical Verification Testing: (3) Production Quality Assurance Testing: and (4) Post-Production Safety Verification Testing. Although all four of these phases of testing are considered essential, the first two phases are especially important for immediate and near-term decisions to advance and pursue coated particle fuel for space RHUs and RPSs. The third and fourth phases of testing are primarily identified and included for completeness at this early stage. It is concluded that there is every reason to believe that the potential benefits of coated particle fuel can be readily demonstrated through a modest investigative test effort. If such an effort is pursued and proves successful, coated particle fuel could then be developed with assurance that its ultimate benefits would revolutionize the design and space use of future RHUs and RPSs. It is hoped that this paper will serve as a starting point for further discussions and more specific planning activities aimed at advancing coated particle fuel for

  12. Testing of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is a high-efficiency generator being developed for potential use on a Discovery 12 space mission. Lockheed Martin designed and fabricated the ASRG Engineering Unit (EU) under contract to the Department of Energy. This unit was delivered to NASA Glenn Research Center in 2008 and has been undergoing extended operation testing to generate long-term performance data for an integrated system. It has also been used for tests to characterize generator operation while varying control parameters and system inputs, both when controlled with an alternating current (AC) bus and with a digital controller. The ASRG EU currently has over 27,000 hours of operation. This paper summarizes all of the tests that have been conducted on the ASRG EU over the past 3 years and provides an overview of the test results and what was learned.

  13. Design of a Facility to Test the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Meer, David W.; Brace, Michael H.; Dugala, Gina

    2009-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is being considered to power deep space missions. An engineering unit, the ASRG-EU, was designed and fabricated by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. This unit is currently on an extended operation test at NASA Glenn Research Center to generate performance data and validate the life and reliability predictions for the generator and the Stirling convertors. A special test facility was designed and built for testing the ASRG-EU. Details of the test facility design are discussed. The facility can operate the convertors under AC bus control or with the ASRG-EU controller. It can regulate input thermal power in either a fixed temperature or fixed power mode. An enclosure circulates cooled air around the ASRG-EU to remove heat rejected from the ASRG-EU by convection. A custom monitoring and data acquisition system supports the test. Various safety features, which allow 2417 unattended operation, are discussed.

  14. Advanced Superlattice BiTe-PbTe/TAGS Milliwatt Radioisotope Power System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drinker, Richard W.; Reddy, Anil; Heshmatpour, Ben; Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Tuttle, Karen L.

    2005-02-01

    The objective of this effort, under NASA's Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program, is to develop a high efficiency thermoelectric (T/E) energy conversion device to power milliwatt radioisotope power systems (mWRPS) for future NASA space science applications. The conversion efficiency goal is 8% at a power output level of 50 to several hundred mW. A two stage cascaded T/E module design is being used to achieve these program objectives. This concept incorporates the advanced superlattice BiTe thermoelectric device technology, which is under development by Research Triangle institute (RTI), with Teledyne's segmented T/E couple technology. The hot stage device in the cascade is comprised of Teledyne's PbTe/TAGS/PbSnTe segmented T/E couple which is glass bonded into a monolithic multicouple configuration. The cold stage device is an RTI developed thin film superlattice BiTe based multicouple device.

  15. Design of a Facility to Test the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Meer, David W.; Brace, Michael H.; Dugala, Gina

    2010-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a high efficiency generator, is being considered for space missions. An engineering unit, the ASRG engineering unit (EU), was designed and fabricated by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. This unit is currently under extended operation test at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) to generate performance data and validate the life and reliability predictions for the generator and the Stirling convertors. A special test facility was designed and built for the ASRG EU. This paper summarizes details of the test facility design, including the mechanical mounting, heat-rejection system, argon system, control systems, and maintenance. The effort proceeded from requirements definition through design, analysis, build, and test. Initial testing and facility performance results are discussed.

  16. Radioisotope electric propulsion of sciencecraft to the outer solar system and near-interstellar space

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, R.J.

    1998-08-01

    Recent results are presented in the study of radioisotope electric propulsion as a near-term technology for sending small robotic sciencecraft to the outer Solar System and near-interstellar space. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems are low-thrust, ion propulsion units based on radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. Powerplant specific masses are expected to be in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW of thrust power. Planetary rendezvous missions to Pluto, fast missions to the heliopause (100 AU) with the capability to decelerate an orbiter for an extended science program and prestellar missions to the first gravitational lens focus of the Sun (550 AU) are investigated.

  17. Technology Development for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System for Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Qiu, Songgang; White, Maurice A.

    2000-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center and the Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a Stirling convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. NASA Glenn is addressing key technology issues through the use of two NASA Phase 2 SBIRs with Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Kennewick, WA. Under the first SBIR, STC demonstrated a 40 to 50 fold reduction in vibrations, compared to an unbalanced convertor, with a synchronous connection of two thermodynamically independent free-piston Stirling convertors. The second SBIR is for the development of an Adaptive Vibration Reduction System (AVRS) that will essentially eliminate vibrations over a mission lifetime, even in the unlikely event of a failed convertor. This paper discusses the status and results for these two SBIR projects and also presents results for characterizing the friction factor of high-porosity random fiber regenerators that are being used for this application.

  18. Radioisotope powered alkali metal thermoelectric converter design for space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sievers, R. K.; Bankston, C. P.

    1988-01-01

    The design concept of an alkali-metal thermoelectric converter (AMTEC) for 15-30-percent-efficient conversion of heat from the General Purpose (radioisotope) Heat Source (GPHS) on spacecraft is presented. The basic physical principles of the conversion cycle are outlined; a theoretical model is derived; a modular design is described and illustrated with drawings; and the overall AMTEC/GPHS system design is characterized. Predicted performance data are presented in extensive tables and graphs and discussed in detail.

  19. ADVANCED RADIOISOTOPE HEAT SOURCE AND PROPULSION SYSTEMS FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION

    SciTech Connect

    R. C. O'Brien; S. D. Howe; J. E. Werner

    2010-09-01

    The exploration of planetary surfaces and atmospheres may be enhanced by increasing the range and mobility of a science platform. Fundamentally, power production and availability of resources are limiting factors that must be considered for all science and exploration missions. A novel power and propulsion system is considered and discussed with reference to a long-range Mars surface exploration mission with in-situ resource utilization. Significance to applications such as sample return missions is also considered. Key material selections for radioisotope encapsulation techniques are presented.

  20. ENHANCED THERMAL VACUUM TEST CAPABILITY FOR RADIOISOTOPE POWER SYSTEMS AT THE IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY BETTER SIMULATES ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS OF SPACE

    SciTech Connect

    J. C. Giglio; A. A. Jackson

    2012-03-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is preparing to fuel and test the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), the next generation space power generator. The INL identified the thermal vacuum test chamber used to test past generators as inadequate. A second vacuum chamber was upgraded with a thermal shroud to process the unique needs and to test the full power capability of the new generator. The thermal vacuum test chamber is the first of its kind capable of testing a fueled power system to temperature that accurately simulate space. This paper outlines the new test and set up capabilities at the INL.

  1. Radioisotope electric propulsion of sciencecraft to the outer Solar System and near-interstellar space

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, R.J.

    1999-11-01

    Radioisotopes have been used successfully for more than 25 years to supply the heat for thermoelectric generators on various deep-space probes. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems have been proposed as low-thrust ion propulsion units based on radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. The perceived liability of radioisotope electric generators for ion propulsion is their high mass. Conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generators have a specific mass of about 200 kg/kW of electric power. Many development efforts have been undertaken with the aim of reducing the specific mass of radioisotope electric systems. Recent performance estimates suggest that specific masses of 50 kg/kW may be achievable with thermophotovoltaic and alkali metal thermal-to-electric conversion generators. Powerplants constructed from these near-term radioisotope electric generators and long-life ion thrusters will likely have specific masses in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW of thrust power if development continues over the next decade. In earlier studies, it was concluded that flight times within the Solar System are indeed insensitive to reductions in the powerplant specific mass, and that a timely scientific program of robotic planetary rendezvous and near-interstellar space missions is enabled by primary electric propulsion once the powerplant specific mass is in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW. Flight times can be substantially reduced by using hybrid propulsion schemes that combine chemical propulsion, gravity assist, and electric propulsion. Hybrid schemes are further explored in this article to illustrate how the performance of REP is enhanced for Pluto rendezvous, heliopause orbiter, and gravitational lens missions.

  2. Advanced Radioisotope Power System Enabled Titan Rover Concept with Inflatable Wheels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Schriener, Timothy M.; Shirley, James H.

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews study into exploration of Titan. Including a possible Titan Rover that would use the advanced radioisotope power system (RPS). The goal of the study is to demonstrate a simple, credible and affordable rover mission concept for Titan in-situ exploration, enabled by an Advanced RPS. The presentation reviews the possible launch vehicle, and trajectory options; desired instrumentation that would be aboard the rover; and considerations for the design of the rover.

  3. Radioisotope Power System Pool Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rusick, Jeffrey J.; Bolotin, Gary S.

    2015-01-01

    Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) for NASA deep space science missions have historically used static thermoelectric-based designs because they are highly reliable, and their radioisotope heat sources can be passively cooled throughout the mission life cycle. Recently, a significant effort to develop a dynamic RPS, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), was conducted by NASA and the Department of Energy, because Stirling based designs offer energy conversion efficiencies four times higher than heritage thermoelectric designs; and the efficiency would proportionately reduce the amount of radioisotope fuel needed for the same power output. However, the long term reliability of a Stirling based design is a concern compared to thermoelectric designs, because for certain Stirling system architectures the radioisotope heat sources must be actively cooled via the dynamic operation of Stirling converters throughout the mission life cycle. To address this reliability concern, a new dynamic Stirling cycle RPS architecture is proposed called the RPS Pool Concept.

  4. Thermoelectric Alloys and Devices for Radioisotope Space Power Systems: State of the Art and Current Developments

    SciTech Connect

    Barnett, W.; Dick, P.; Beaudry, B.; Gorsuch, P.; Skrabek, E.

    1989-01-01

    Lead telluride and silicon germanium type alloys have served over the past several decades as the preferred thermoelectric conversion materials for U. S. radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) power systems for planetary deep space exploration missions. The Pioneer missions to Jupiter and Jupiter/Saturn and the Viking Mars Lander missions employed TAGS-2N (lead and germanium telluride derivatives) power conversion devices. Since 1976, silicon germanium (SiGe) alloys, incorporated into the unicouple device, have evolved as the thermoelectric materials of choice for U. S. RTG powered space missions. These include the U. S. Air Force Lincoln Experimental Satellites 8 & 9 for communications, in 1976, followed in 1977 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Voyager 1 and 2 planetary missions. In 1989, advanced SiGe RTGs were used to power the Galileo exploration of Jupiter and, in 1990, will be used to power the Ulysses investigation of the Sun. In addition, SiGe technology has been chosen to provide RTG power for the 1995 Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby mission and the 1996 Cassini Saturn orbiter mission. Summaries of the flight performance data for these systems are presented.; Current U. S. Department of Energy thermoelectric development activities include (1) the development of conversion devices based on hi-density, close packed couple arrays and (2) the development of improved performance silicon germanium type thermoelectric materials. The silicon germanium type "multicouple", being developed in conjunction with the Modular RTG program, is discussed in a companion paper. A lead telluride type close-packed module, discussed herein, offers the promise of withstanding high velocity impacts and, thus, is a candidate for a Mars Penetrator application.; Recent projects sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy, including the Improved Thermoelectric Materials and Modular Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator programs, have shown that improvements

  5. Supporting Development for the Stirling Radioisotope Generator and Advanced Stirling Technology Development at NASA Glenn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2005-01-01

    A high-efficiency, 110-W(sub e) (watts electric) Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for possible use on future NASA Space Science missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Potential mission use includes providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. GRC is conducting an in-house supporting technology project to assist in SRG110 development. One-, three-, and six-month heater head structural benchmark tests have been completed in support of a heater head life assessment. Testing is underway to evaluate the key epoxy bond of the permanent magnets to the linear alternator stator lamination stack. GRC has completed over 10,000 hours of extended duration testing of the Stirling convertors for the SRG110, and a three-year test of two Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment will be starting shortly. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and the overall generator. Sunpower, Inc. has begun the development of a lightweight Stirling convertor, under a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) award, that has the potential to double the system specific power to about 8 W(sub e) per kilogram. GRC has performed random vibration testing of a lowerpower version of this convertor to evaluate robustness for surviving launch vibrations. STC has also completed the initial design of a lightweight convertor. Status of the development of a multi-dimensional computational fluid dynamics code and high-temperature materials work on advanced superalloys, refractory metal alloys, and ceramics are also discussed.

  6. Natural Convection Cooling of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Hill, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    After fueling and prior to launch, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) will be stored for a period of time then moved to the launch pad for integration with the space probe and mounting on the launch vehicle. During this time, which could be as long as 3 years, the ASRG will operate continuously with heat rejected from the housing and fins. Typically, the generator will be cooled by forced convection using fans. During some of the ground operations, maintaining forced convection may add significant complexity, so allowing natural convection may simplify operations. A test was conducted on the ASRG Engineering Unit (EU) to quantify temperatures and operating parameters with natural convection only and determine if the EU could be safely operated in such an environment. The results show that with natural convection cooling the ASRG EU Stirling convertor pressure vessel temperatures and other parameters had significant margins while the EU was operated for several days in this configuration. Additionally, an update is provided on ASRG EU testing at NASA Glenn Research Center, where the ASRG EU has operated for over 16,000 hr and underwent extensive testing.

  7. A Conceptual Titan Orbiter Mission Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abelson, Robert D.; Shirley, James H.; Spilker, Thomas R.

    2006-01-01

    This study details a conceptual follow-on Titan orbiter mission that would provide full global topographic coverage. surface imaging, and meteorological characterization of the atmosphere over a nominal 5-year science mission duration. The baseline power requirement is approx.1 kWe at EOM and is driven by a high power radar instrument that would provide 3-dimensional measurements of atmospheric clouds, precipitation, and surface topography. While this power level is moderately higher than that of the Cassini spacecraft. higher efficiency advanced RPSs could potentially reduce the plutonium usage to less than 1/3rd of that used on the Cassini spacecraft. The Titan Orbiter mission is assumed to launch in 2015. It would utilize advanced RPSs to provide all on-board power.

  8. A Conceptual Venus Rover Mission Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    This concept study demonstrates that a long lived Venus rover mission could be enabled by a novel application of advanced RPS technology. General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules would be employed to drive an advanced thermoacoustic Stirling engine, pulse tube cooler and linear alternator that provides electric power and cooling for the rover. The Thermoacoustic Stirling Heat Engine (TASHE) is a system for converting high-temperature heat into acoustic power which then drives linear alternators and a pulse tube cooler to provide both electric power and coolin6g for the rover. A small design team examined this mission concept focusing on the feasibility of using the TASHE system in this hostile environment. A rover design is described that would provide a mobile platform for science measurements on the Venus surface for 60 days, with the potential of operating well beyond that. A suite of science instruments is described that collects data on atmospheric and surface composition, surface stratigraphy, and subsurface structure. An Earth-Venus-Venus trajectory would be used to deliver the rover to a low entry angle allowing an inflated ballute to provide a low deceleration and low heat descent to the surface. All rover systems would be housed in a pressure vessel in vacuum with the internal temperature maintained by the TASHE at under 50 °C.

  9. Radioisotope thermophotovoltaic system design and its application to an illustrative space mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, A.; Kumar, V.

    1995-01-05

    The paper describes the results of a DOE-sponsored design study of a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator (RTPV), to complement similar studies of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Stirling Generators (RSGs) previously published by the author. Instead of conducting a generic study, it was decided to focus the design effort by directing it at a specific illustrative space mission, Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF). That mission, under study by JPL, envisages a direct eight-year flight to Pluto (the only unexplored planet in the solar system), followed by comprehensive mapping, surface composition, and atmospheric structure measurements during a brief flyby of the planet and its moon Charon, and transmission of the recorded science data to Earth during a post-encounter cruise lasting up to one year. Because of Pluto`s long distance from the sun (30--50 A.U.) and the mission`s large energy demand, JPL has baselined the use of a radioisotope power system for the PFF spacecraft. TRGs have been tentatively selected, because they have been successfully flown on many space missions, and have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability. The only reason for exploring the applicability of the far less mature RTPV systems is their potential for much higher conversion efficiencies, which would greatly reduce the mass and cost of the required radioisotope heat source. Those attributes are particularly important for the PFF mission, which---like all NASA missions under current consideration---is severely mass- and cost-limited. The paper describes the design of the radioisotope heat source, the thermophotovoltaic converter, and the heat rejection system; and depicts its integration with the PFF spacecraft.

  10. U.S. Space Radioisotope Power Systems and Applications: Past, Present and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cataldo, Robert L.; Bennett, Gary L.

    2011-01-01

    Radioisotope power systems (RPS) have been essential to the U.S. exploration of outer space. RPS have two primary uses: electrical power and thermal power. To provide electrical power, the RPS uses the heat produced by the natural decay of a radioisotope (e.g., plutonium-238 in U.S. RPS) to drive a converter (e.g., thermoelectric elements or Stirling linear alternator). As a thermal power source the heat is conducted to whatever component on the spacecraft needs to be kept warm; this heat can be produced by a radioisotope heater unit (RHU) or by using the excess heat of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). As of 2010, the U.S. has launched 41 RTGs on 26 space systems. These space systems have ranged from navigational satellites to challenging outer planet missions such as Pioneer 10/11, Voyager 1/2, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini and the New Horizons mission to Pluto. In the fall of 2011, NASA plans to launch the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that will employ the new Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) as the principal power source. Hundreds of radioisotope heater units (RHUs) have been launched to provide warmth to Apollo 11, used to provide heating of critical components in a seismic experiment package, Pioneer 10/11, Voyager 1/2, Galileo, Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, MER rovers, etc. to provide temperature control to critical spacecraft electronics and other mechanical devices such as propulsion system propellant valves. A radioisotope (electrical) power source or system (RPS) consists of three basic elements: (1) the radioisotope heat source that provides the thermal power, (2) the converter that transforms the thermal power into electrical power and (3) the heat rejection radiator. Figure 1 illustrates the basic features of an RPS. The idea of a radioisotope power source follows closely after the early investigations of radioactivity by researchers such as Henri Becquerel (1852-1908), Marie Curie (1867-1935), Pierre Curie (1859

  11. Advanced solar space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bohlin, J. D.

    1979-01-01

    The space missions in solar physics planned for the next decade are similar in that they will have, for the most part, distinct, unifying science objectives in contrast to the more general 'exploratory' nature of the Orbiting Solar Observatory and Skylab/ATM missions of the 1960's and 70's. In particular, the strategy for advanced solar physics space missions will focus on the quantitative understanding of the physical processes that create and control the flow of electromagnetic and particulate energy from the sun and through interplanetary space at all phases of the current sunspot cycle No. 21. Attention is given to the Solar Maximum Mission, the International Solar Polar Mission, solar physics on an early Shuttle mission, principal investigator class experiments for future spacelabs, the Solar Optical Telescope, the Space Science Platform, the Solar Cycle and Dynamics Mission, and an attempt to send a spacecraft to within 4 solar radii of the sun's surface.

  12. Advanced Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1996-01-01

    This presentation describes a number of advanced space propulsion technologies with the potential for meeting the need for dramatic reductions in the cost of access to space, and the need for new propulsion capabilities to enable bold new space exploration (and, ultimately, space exploitation) missions of the 21st century. For example, current Earth-to-orbit (e.g., low Earth orbit, LEO) launch costs are extremely high (ca. $10,000/kg); a factor 25 reduction (to ca. $400/kg) will be needed to produce the dramatic increases in space activities in both the civilian and government sectors identified in the Commercial Space Transportation Study (CSTS). Similarly, in the area of space exploration, all of the relatively 'easy' missions (e.g., robotic flybys, inner solar system orbiters and landers; and piloted short-duration Lunar missions) have been done. Ambitious missions of the next century (e.g., robotic outer-planet orbiters/probes, landers, rovers, sample returns; and piloted long-duration Lunar and Mars missions) will require major improvements in propulsion capability. In some cases, advanced propulsion can enable a mission by making it faster or more affordable, and in some cases, by directly enabling the mission (e.g., interstellar missions). As a general rule, advanced propulsion systems are attractive because of their low operating costs (e.g., higher specific impulse, ISD) and typically show the most benefit for relatively 'big' missions (i.e., missions with large payloads or AV, or a large overall mission model). In part, this is due to the intrinsic size of the advanced systems as compared to state-of-the-art (SOTA) chemical propulsion systems. Also, advanced systems often have a large 'infrastructure' cost, either in the form of initial R&D costs or in facilities hardware costs (e.g., laser or microwave transmission ground stations for beamed energy propulsion). These costs must then be amortized over a large mission to be cost-competitive with a SOTA

  13. Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) Generator and Its Applicability to an Illustrative Space Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, A.; Mukunda, M.; Or, T.; Kumar, V.; Summers, G.

    1994-02-14

    The paper describes the results of a DOE-sponsored design study of a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator (RTPV), to complement similar studies of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Stirling Generators (RSGs) previously published by the author. Instead of conducting a generic study, it was decided to focus the design effort by directing it at a specific illustrative space mission, Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF). That mission, under study by JPL, envisages a direct eight-year flight to Pluto (the only unexplored planet in the solar system), followed by comprehensive mapping, surface composition, and atmospheric structure measurements during a brief flyby of the planet and its moon Charon, and transmission of the recorded science data to Earth during a post-encounter cruise lasting up to one year.

  14. Space Power Architectures for NASA Missions: The Applicability and Benefits of Advanced Power and Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, David J.

    2001-01-01

    The relative importance of electrical power systems as compared with other spacecraft bus systems is examined. The quantified benefits of advanced space power architectures for NASA Earth Science, Space Science, and Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) missions is then presented. Advanced space power technologies highlighted include high specific power solar arrays, regenerative fuel cells, Stirling radioisotope power sources, flywheel energy storage and attitude control, lithium ion polymer energy storage and advanced power management and distribution.

  15. Radioisotope thermophotovoltaic system design and its application to an illustrative space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schock, A.; Kumar, V.

    1995-01-01

    The paper describes the results of a DOE-sponsored design study of a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator (RTPV), to complement similar studies of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Stirling Generators (RSGs) previously published by the author. Instead of conducting a generic study, it was decided to focus the design effort by directing it at a specific illustrative space mission, Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF). That mission, under study by JPL, envisages a direct eight-year flight to Pluto (the only unexplored planet in the solar system), followed by comprehensive mapping, surface composition, and atmospheric structure measurements during a brief flyby of the planet and its moon Charon, and transmission of the recorded science data to Earth during a post-encounter cruise lasting up to one year. Because of Pluto's long distance from the sun (30-50 A.U.) and the mission's large energy demand, JPL has baselined the use of a radioisotope power system for the PFF spacecraft. TRGs have been tentatively selected, because they have been successfully flown on many space missions, and have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability. The only reason for exploring the applicability of the far less mature RTPV systems is their potential for much higher conversion efficiencies, which would greatly reduce the mass and cost of the required radioisotope heat source. Those attributes are particularly important for the PFF mission, which—like all NASA missions under current consideration—is severely mass- and cost-limited. The paper describes the design of the radioisotope heat source, the thermophotovoltaic converter, and the heat rejection system; and depicts its integration with the PFF spacecraft. A companion paper presented at this conference presents the results of the thermal, electrical, and structural analysis and the design optimization of the integrated RTPV system. It also discusses the programmatic implications of the analytical results, which

  16. Evaluation of radioisotope tracer and activation analysis techniques for contamination monitoring in space environment simulation chambers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smathers, J. B.; Kuykendall, W. E., Jr.; Wright, R. E., Jr.; Marshall, J. R.

    1973-01-01

    Radioisotope measurement techniques and neutron activation analysis are evaluated for use in identifying and locating contamination sources in space environment simulation chambers. The alpha range method allows the determination of total contaminant concentration in vapor state and condensate state. A Cf-252 neutron activation analysis system for detecting oils and greases tagged with stable elements is described. While neutron activation analysis of tagged contaminants offers specificity, an on-site system is extremely costly to implement and provides only marginal detection sensitivity under even the most favorable conditions.

  17. Space station advanced automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woods, Donald

    1990-01-01

    In the development of a safe, productive and maintainable space station, Automation and Robotics (A and R) has been identified as an enabling technology which will allow efficient operation at a reasonable cost. The Space Station Freedom's (SSF) systems are very complex, and interdependent. The usage of Advanced Automation (AA) will help restructure, and integrate system status so that station and ground personnel can operate more efficiently. To use AA technology for the augmentation of system management functions requires a development model which consists of well defined phases of: evaluation, development, integration, and maintenance. The evaluation phase will consider system management functions against traditional solutions, implementation techniques and requirements; the end result of this phase should be a well developed concept along with a feasibility analysis. In the development phase the AA system will be developed in accordance with a traditional Life Cycle Model (LCM) modified for Knowledge Based System (KBS) applications. A way by which both knowledge bases and reasoning techniques can be reused to control costs is explained. During the integration phase the KBS software must be integrated with conventional software, and verified and validated. The Verification and Validation (V and V) techniques applicable to these KBS are based on the ideas of consistency, minimal competency, and graph theory. The maintenance phase will be aided by having well designed and documented KBS software.

  18. Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Mason, Lee S.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2016-01-01

    High-efficiency radioisotope power generators will play an important role in future NASA space exploration missions. Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) have been identified as a candidate generator technology capable of providing mission designers with an efficient, high-specific-power electrical generator. SRGs high conversion efficiency has the potential to extend the limited Pu-238 supply when compared with current Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). Due to budgetary constraints, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) was canceled in the fall of 2013. Over the past year a joint study by NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE) called the Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) recommended that Stirling technologies continue to be explored. During the mission studies of the NPAS, spare SRGs were sometimes required to meet mission power system reliability requirements. This led to an additional mass penalty and increased isotope consumption levied on certain SRG-based missions. In an attempt to remove the spare power system, a new generator architecture is considered, which could increase the reliability of a Stirling generator and provide a more fault-tolerant power system. This new generator called the Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator (MSRG) employs multiple parallel Stirling convertor/controller strings, all of which share the heat from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. For this design, generators utilizing one to eight GPHS modules were analyzed, which provided about 50 to 450 W of direct current (DC) to the spacecraft, respectively. Four Stirling convertors are arranged around each GPHS module resulting in from 4 to 32 Stirling/controller strings. The convertors are balanced either individually or in pairs, and are radiatively coupled to the GPHS modules. Heat is rejected through the housing/radiator, which is similar in construction to the ASRG. Mass and power analysis for these systems indicate that specific

  19. Analysis, optimization, and assessment of radioisotope thermophotovoltaic system design for an illustrative space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schock, A.; Mukunda, M.; Or, C.; Summers, G.

    1995-01-01

    A companion paper presented at this conference described the design of a Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) Generator for an illustrative space mission (Pluto Fast Flyby). It presented a detailed design of an integrated system consisting of a radioisotope heat source, a thermophotovoltaic converter, and an optimized heat rejection system. The present paper describes the thermal, electrical, and structural analyses which led to that optimized design, and compares the computed RTPV performance to that of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) designed for the same mission. RTPVs are of course much less mature than RTGs, but our results indicate that—when fully developed—they could result in a 60% reduction of the heat source's mass, cost, and fuel loading, a 50% reduction of generator mass, a tripling of the power system's specific power, and a quadrupling of its efficiency. The paper concludes by briefly summarizing the RTPV's current technology status and assessing its potential applicability for the PFF mission. For other power systems (e.g., RTGs), demonstrating their flight readiness for a long mission is a very time-consuming process to determine the long-term effect of temperature-induced degradation mechanisms. But for the case of the described RTPV design, the paper lists a number of factors, primarily its cold (0 to 10 °C) converter temperature, that may greatly reduce the need for long-term tests to demonstrate generator lifetime. In any event, our analytical results suggest that the RTPV generator, when developed by DOE and/or NASA, would be quite valuable not only for the Pluto mission but also for other future missions requiring small, long-lived, low-mass generators.

  20. Analysis, optimization, and assessment of radioisotope thermophotovoltaic system design for an illustrative space mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, A.; Mukunda, M.; Or, C.; Summers, G.

    1995-01-05

    A companion paper presented at this conference described the design of a Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) Generator for an illustrative space mission (Pluto Fast Flyby). It presented a detailed design of an integrated system consisting of a radioisotope heat source, a thermophotovoltaic converter, and an optimized heat rejection system. The present paper describes the thermal, electrical, and structural analyses which led to that optimized design, and compares the computed RTPV performance to that of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) designed for the same mission. RTPVs are of course much less mature than RTGs, but our results indicate that---when fully developed---they could result in a 60% reduction of the heat source`s mass, cost, and fuel loading, a 50% reduction of generator mass, a tripling of the power system`s specific power, and a quadrupling of its efficiency. The paper concludes by briefly summarizing the RTPV`s current technology status and assessing its potential applicability for the PFF mission. For other power systems (e.g., RTGs), demonstrating their flight readiness for a long mission is a very time-consuming process to determine the long-term effect of temperature-induced degradation mechanisms. But for the case of the described RTPV design, the paper lists a number of factors, primarily its cold (0 to 10 {degree}C) converter temperature, that may greatly reduce the need for long-term tests to demonstrate generator lifetime. In any event, our analytical results suggest that the RTPV generator, when developed by DOE and/or NASA, would be quite valuable not only for the Pluto mission but also for other future missions requiring small, long-lived, low-mass generators. {copyright} {ital 1995} {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}.

  1. Analysis, Optimization, and Assessment of Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic System Design for an Illustrative Space Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred; Mukunda, Meera; Summers, G.

    1994-06-28

    A companion paper presented at this conference described the design of a Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) Generator for an illustrative space mission (Pluto Fast Flyby). It presented a detailed design of an integrated system consisting of a radioisotope heat source, a thermophotovoltaic converter, and an optimized heat rejection system. The present paper describes the thermal, electrical, and structural analyses which led to that optimized design, and compares the computed RTPV performance to that of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) designed for the same mission. RTPV's are of course much less mature than RTGs, but our results indicate that - when fully developed - they could result in a 60% reduction of the heat source's mass, cost, and fuel loading, a 50% reduction of generator mass, a tripling of the power system's specific power, and a quadrupling of its efficiency. The paper concludes by briefly summarizing the RTPV's current technology status and assessing its potential applicability for the PFF mission. For other power systems (e.g. RTGs), demonstrating their flight readiness for a long mission is a very time-consuming process to determine the long-term effect of temperature-induced degradation mechanisms. But for the case of the described RTPV design, the paper lists a number of factors, primarily its cold (0 to 10 degrees C) converter temperature, that may greatly reduce the need for long-term tests to demonstrate generator lifetime. In any event, our analytical results suggest that the RTPV generator, when developed by DOE and/or NASA, would be quite valuable not only for the Pluto mission but also for other future missions requiring small, long-lived, low mass generators. Another copy is in the Energy Systems files.

  2. The General-Purpose Heat Source Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator: A Truly General-Purpose Space RTG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Lombardo, James J.; Hemler, Richard J.; Silverman, Gil; Whitmore, C. W.; Amos, Wayne R.; Johnson, E. W.; Zocher, Roy W.; Hagan, James C.; Englehart, Richard W.

    2008-01-01

    The General-Purpose Heat Source Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (GPHS-RTG) was developed for the originally planned International Solar Polar Mission (ISPM). [ISPM would later, with the elimination of the NASA spacecraft, become the Ulysses mission.] At 300 We beginning-of-life (BOL) power, the GPHS-RTG was the most powerful RTG with the highest specific power (5.3 We/kg) of any space RTG. These improved performance attributes of the GPHS-RTG made it attractive for use on the Galileo mission. Subsequently, the GPHS-RTG was selected to power the Cassini spacecraft, which is currently orbiting Saturn, and the New Horizons spacecraft which is on its way to Pluto. Truly, the GPHS-RTG is a ``general-purpose'' space RTG.

  3. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Thermal Power Model in Thermal Desktop SINDA/FLUINT Analyzer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen; Fabanich, William A.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a three-dimensional Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) thermal power model that was built using the Thermal Desktop SINDA/FLUINT thermal analyzer. The model was correlated with ASRG engineering unit (EU) test data and ASRG flight unit predictions from Lockheed Martin's Ideas TMG thermal model. ASRG performance under (1) ASC hot-end temperatures, (2) ambient temperatures, and (3) years of mission for the general purpose heat source fuel decay was predicted using this model for the flight unit. The results were compared with those reported by Lockheed Martin and showed good agreement. In addition, the model was used to study the performance of the ASRG flight unit for operations on the ground and on the surface of Titan, and the concept of using gold film to reduce thermal loss through insulation was investigated.

  4. Radioisotope fueled pulsed power generation system for propulsion and electrical power for deep space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, Troy

    Space exploration missions to the moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies have allowed for great scientific leaps to enhance our knowledge of the universe; yet the astronomical cost of these missions limits their utility to only a few select agencies. Reducing the cost of exploratory space travel will give rise to a new era of exploration, where private investors, universities, and world governments can send satellites to far off planets and gather important data. By using radioisotope power sources and thermal storage devices, a duty cycle can be introduced to extract large amounts of energy in short amounts of time, allowing for efficient space travel. The same device can also provide electrical power for subsystems such as communications, drills, lasers, or other components that can provide valuable scientific information. This project examines the use of multiple radioisotope sources combined with a thermal capacitor using Phase Change Materials (PCMs) which can collect energy over a period of time. The result of this design culminates in a variety of possible spacecraft with their own varying costs, transit times, and objectives. Among the most promising are missions to Mars which cost less than 17M, missions that can provide power to satellite constellations for decades, or missions that can deliver large, Opportunity-sized (185kg) payloads to mars for less than 53M. All made available to a much wider range of customer with commercially available satellite launches from earth. The true cost of such progress though lies in the sometimes substantial increase in transit times for these missions.

  5. Advanced Radioisotope Power System Enabled Titan Rover Concept with Inflatable Wheels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Schriener, Timothy M.; Shirley, James H.

    2006-01-01

    The Decadal Survey identified Titan as one of the top priority science destinations in the large moons category, while NASA's proposed Design Reference Mission Set ranked a Titan in-situ explorer second, after a recommended Europa Geophysical Explorer mission. This paper discusses a Titan rover concept, enabled by a single advanced Radioisotope Power System that could provide about 110 We (BOL). The concept targets the smaller Flagship or potentially the New Frontiers mission class. This MSL class rover would traverse on four 1.5 m diameter inflatable wheels during its 3 years mission duration and would use as much design and flight heritage as possible to reduce mission cost. Direct to Earth communication would remove the need for a relay orbiter. Details on the strawman instrument payload, and rover subsystems are given for this science driven mission concept. In addition, power system trades between Advanced RTG, TPV, and Advanced-Stirling and Brayton RPSs are outlined. While many possible approaches exist for Titan in-situ exploration, the Titan rover concept presented here could provide a scientifically interesting and programmatically affordable solution.

  6. Advanced space propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapointe, Michael R.

    1993-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center has been actively involved in the evaluation and development of advanced spacecraft propulsion. Recent program elements have included high energy density propellants, electrode less plasma thruster concepts, and low power laser propulsion technology. A robust advanced technology program is necessary to develop new, cost-effective methods of spacecraft propulsion, and to continue to push the boundaries of human knowledge and technology.

  7. Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Mason, Lee S.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2015-01-01

    High efficiency radioisotope power generators will play an important role in future NASA space exploration missions. Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRG) have been identified as a candidate generator technology capable of providing mission designers with an efficient, high specific power electrical generator. SRGs high conversion efficiency has the potential to extend the limited Pu-238 supply when compared with current Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). Due to budgetary constraints, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) was canceled in the fall of 2013. Over the past year a joint study by NASA and DOE called the Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) recommended that Stirling technologies continue to be explored. During the mission studies of the NPAS, spare SRGs were sometimes required to meet mission power system reliability requirements. This led to an additional mass penalty and increased isotope consumption levied on certain SRG-based missions. In an attempt to remove the spare power system, a new generator architecture is considered which could increase the reliability of a Stirling generator and provide a more fault-tolerant power system. This new generator called the Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator (MSRG) employs multiple parallel Stirling convertor/controller strings, all of which share the heat from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. For this design, generators utilizing one to eight GPHS modules were analyzed, which provide about 50 to 450 watts DC to the spacecraft, respectively. Four Stirling convertors are arranged around each GPHS module resulting in from 4 to 32 Stirling/controller strings. The convertors are balanced either individually or in pairs, and are radiatively coupled to the GPHS modules. Heat is rejected through the housing/radiator which is similar in construction to the ASRG. Mass and power analysis for these systems indicate that specific power may be slightly lower than the ASRG and

  8. Supporting Development for the Stirling Radioisotope Generator and Advanced Stirling Technology Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2005-01-01

    A high-efficiency, 110-We (watts electric) Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for possible use on future NASA Space Science missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Potential mission use includes providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. GRC is conducting an in-house supporting technology project to assist in SRG110 development. One-, three-, and six-month heater head structural benchmark tests have been completed in support of a heater head life assessment. Testing is underway to evaluate the key epoxy bond of the permanent magnets to the linear alternator stator lamination stack. GRC has completed over 10,000 hours of extended duration testing of the Stirling convertors for the SRG110, and a three-year test of two Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment will be starting shortly. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and the overall generator. Sunpower, Inc. has begun the development of a lightweight Stirling convertor, under a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) award, that has the potential to double the system specific power to about 8 We/kg. GRC has performed random vibration testing of a lower-power version of this convertor to evaluate robustness for surviving launch vibrations. STC has also completed the initial design of a lightweight convertor. Status of the development of a multi-dimensional computational fluid dynamics code and high-temperature materials work on advanced superalloys, refractory metal alloys, and ceramics are also discussed.

  9. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit 2 (ASRG EU2) Final Assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2015-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has recently completed the assembly of a unique Stirling generator test article for laboratory experimentation. Under the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) flight development contract, NASA GRC initiated a task to design and fabricate a flight-like generator for in-house testing. This test article was given the name ASRG Engineering Unit 2 (EU2) as it was effectively the second engineering unit to be built within the ASRG project. The intent of the test article was to duplicate Lockheed Martin's qualification unit ASRG design as much as possible to enable system-level tests not previously possible at GRC. After the cancellation of the ASRG flight development project, the decision was made to continue the EU2 build, and make use of a portion of the hardware from the flight development project. GRC and Lockheed Martin engineers collaborated to develop assembly procedures, leveraging the valuable knowledge gathered by Lockheed Martin during the ASRG development contract. The ASRG EU2 was then assembled per these procedures at GRC with Lockheed Martin engineers on site. The assembly was completed in August 2014. This paper details the components that were used for the assembly, and the assembly process itself.

  10. Cascaded Thermoelectric Conversion-Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (CTC-ARPSs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Saber, Hamed H.

    2004-02-01

    Conceptual designs of Advanced Radioisotope Power System (ARPS) with Cascaded Thermoelectric Converters (CTCs) are developed and optimized for maximum efficiency operation for End-Of Mission (EOM) electrical power of at least 100 We. These power systems each employs four General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) bricks generating 1000 Wth at Beginning-of-Life (BOL) and 32 Cascaded Thermoelectric Modules (CTMs). Each CTM consists of a top and a bottom array of thermoelectric unicouples, which are thermally, but not electrically, coupled. The top and bottom arrays of the CTMs are connected electrically in series in two parallel strings with the same nominal voltage of > 28 VDC. The SiGe unicouples in the top array of the CTMs are optimized for nominal hot shoe temperature of 1273 K and constant cold shoe temperature of either 780 K or 980 K, depending on the thermoelectric materials of the unicouples in the bottom array. For a SiGe cold junction temperature of 780 K, the unicouples in the bottom array have p-legs of TAGS-85 and n-legs of 2N-PbTe and operate at constant hot junction temperature of 765 K and nominal cold junction temperature of 476.4 K. When the SiGe cold junction temperature is 980 K, the unicouples in the bottom arrays of CTMs have p-legs of CeFe3.5Co0.5Sb12 or CeFe3.5Co0.5Sb12 and Zn4Sb3, segments and n-legs of CoSb3 and operate at constant hot junction temperature of 965 K and nominal cold junction temperatures of 446.5 K or 493.5 K, respectively. The CTC-ARPSs have a nominal efficiency of 10.82% - 10.85% and generate BOL power of 108 We. This system efficiency is ~ 80% higher than that of State-of-the-Art (SOA) Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), requiring 7 GHPS bricks and generating 105 We at BOL. The CTC-ARPSs have specific powers of 8.2 We/kg to 8.8 We/kg, which are 71% to 83% higher, respectively, than that of the SOA-RTGs, and use ~ 43% less 238PuO2 fuel.

  11. Coated Particles Fuel Compact-General Purpose Heat Source for Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Tournier, Jean-Michel

    2003-01-01

    Coated Particles Fuel Compacts (CPFC) have recently been shown to offer performance advantage for use in Radioisotope Heater Units (RHUs) and design flexibility for integrating at high thermal efficiency with Stirling Engine converters, currently being considered for 100 We. Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (ARPS). The particles in the compact consist of 238PuO2 fuel kernels with 5-μm thick PyC inner coating and a strong ZrC outer coating, whose thickness depends on the maximum fuel temperature during reentry, the fuel kernel diameter, and the fraction of helium gas released from the kernels and fully contained by the ZrC coating. In addition to containing the helium generated by radioactive decay of 238Pu for up to 10 years before launch and 10-15 years mission lifetime, the kernels are intentionally sized (>= 300 μm in diameter) to prevent any adverse radiological effects on reentry. This paper investigates the advantage of replacing the four iridium-clad 238PuO2 fuel pellets, the two floating graphite membranes, and the two graphite impact shells in current State-Of-The-Art (SOA) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) with CPFC. The total mass, thermal power, and specific power of the CPFC-GPHS are calculated as functions of the helium release fraction from the fuel kernels and maximum fuel temperature during reentry from 1500 K to 2400 K. For the same total mass and volume as SOA GPHS, the generated thermal power by single-size particles CPFC-GPHS is 260 W at Beginning-Of-Mission (BOM), versus 231 W for the GPHS. For an additional 10% increase in total mass, the CPFC-GPHS could generate 340 W BOM; 48% higher than SOA GPHS. The corresponding specific thermal power is 214 W/kg, versus 160 W/kg for SOA GPHS; a 34% increase. Therefore, for the same thermal power, the CPFC-GPHS is lighter than SOA GPHS, while it uses the same amount of 238PuO2 fuel and same aeroshell. For the same helium release fraction and fuel temperature, binary-size particles CPFC-GPHS could

  12. Advances in space robotics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varsi, Giulio

    1989-01-01

    The problem of the remote control of space operations is addressed by identifying the key technical challenge: the management of contact forces and the principal performance parameters. Three principal classes of devices for remote operation are identified: anthropomorphic exoskeletons, computer aided teleoperators, and supervised telerobots. Their fields of application are described, and areas in which progress has reached the level of system or subsystem laboratory demonstrations are indicated. Key test results, indicating performance at a level useful for design tradeoffs, are reported.

  13. Center for Advanced Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The Center for Advanced Space Propulsion (CASP) is part of the University of Tennessee-Calspan Center for Aerospace Research (CAR). It was formed in 1985 to take advantage of the extensive research faculty and staff of the University of Tennessee and Calspan Corporation. It is also one of sixteen NASA sponsored Centers established to facilitate the Commercial Development of Space. Based on investigators' qualifications in propulsion system development, and matching industries' strong intent, the Center focused its efforts in the following technical areas: advanced chemical propulsion, electric propulsion, AI/Expert systems, fluids management in microgravity, and propulsion materials processing. This annual report focuses its discussion in these technical areas.

  14. Advanced automation for space missions

    SciTech Connect

    Freitas, R.A., Jr.; Healy, T.J.; Long, J.E.

    1982-01-01

    A NASA/ASEE summer study conducted at the University of Santa Clara in 1980 examined the feasibility of using advanced artificial intelligence and automation technologies in future NASA space missions. Four candidate applications missions were considered: an intelligent earth-sensing information system; an autonomous space exploration system; an automated space manufacturing facility; and a self-replicating, growing lunar factory. The study assessed the various artificial intelligence and machine technologies which must be developed if such sophisticated missions are to become feasible by the century's end. 18 references.

  15. Design, Analysis, and Optimization of a Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) Generator, and its Applicability to an Illustrative Space Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred; Mukunda, Meera; Or, Chuen T; Kumar, Vasanth; Summers, G.

    1994-10-01

    Paper presented at the 45th Congress of the IAF in Jerusalem, Israel, October 1994. The paper describes the results of a DOE-sponsored design study of a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator (RTPV), to complement similar studies of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Stirling Generators (RSGs) previously published by the authors. To focus the design effort, it was decided to direct it at a specific illustrative space mission, Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF). That mission, under study by the JPL, envisages a direct eight to nine-year flight to Pluto (the only unexplored planet in the solar system), followed by comprehensive mapping, surface composition, and atmospheric structure measurements during a brief flyby of the planet and its moon Charon, and transmission of the recorded science data to Earth during a six-week post-encounter cruise.

  16. Considerations in the fabrication, assembly, and testing of radioisotopic thermo-photovoltaic (RTPV) generators for future space missions

    SciTech Connect

    Barklay, C.D.; Miller, R.G.; Frazier, T.A.

    1996-03-01

    To increase energy output with a smaller size and mass than the radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs) that were previously used on deep space missions, a radioisotopic thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) system is being developed for the {open_quote}{open_quote}Pluto Express{close_quote}{close_quote} flyby mission. To minimize cost and development time, some facilities and components currently used for RTG production can be used to produce RTPVs. Production options also include out-sourcing and use of off-the-shelf hardware. Necessary modifications to tooling, production equipment, testing and shipping methods can be achieved in a timely manner so that the RTPV will be ready well before the planned launch of {open_quote}{open_quote}Pluto Express.{close_quote}{close_quote} {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  17. Advanced Stirling Convertor Dual Convertor Controller Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center in the Radioisotope Power Systems System Integration Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.; Taylor, Linda M.; Bell, Mark E.; Dolce, James L.; Fraeman, Martin; Frankford, David P.

    2015-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) developed a non-nuclear representation of a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) consisting of a pair of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC), a Dual Convertor Controller (DCC) EM (engineering model) 2 & 3, and associated support equipment, which were tested in the Radioisotope Power Systems System Integration Laboratory (RSIL). The DCC was designed by the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to actively control a pair of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC). The first phase of testing included a Dual Advanced Stirling Convertor Simulator (DASCS) which was developed by JHU/APL and simulates the operation and electrical behavior of a pair of ASC's in real time via a combination of hardware and software. RSIL provides insight into the electrical interactions between a representative radioisotope power generator, its associated control schemes, and realistic electric system loads. The first phase of integration testing included the following spacecraft bus configurations: capacitive, battery, and supercapacitor. A load profile, created based on data from several missions, tested the RPS and RSIL ability to maintain operation during load demands above and below the power provided by the RPS. The integration testing also confirmed the DCC's ability to disconnect from the spacecraft when the bus voltage dipped below 22 V or exceeded 36 V. Once operation was verified with the DASCS, the tests were repeated with actual operating ASC's. The goal of this integration testing was to verify operation of the DCC when connected to a spacecraft and to verify the functionality of the newly designed RSIL. The results of these tests are presented in this paper.

  18. Contributions and future of radioisotopes in medical, industrial, and space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tingey, G. L.; Dix, G. P.; Wahlquist, E. J.

    1990-11-01

    There are 333 isotopes that have a half-life between 1 day and 100,000 years that have a wide variety of applications including public health, medicine, industrial technology, food technology and packaging, agriculture, energy supply, and national security. This paper provides an overview of some of the most extensive applications of radioisotopes including some observations of future uses. Examples are discussed that indicate that the use of radioisotopes is almost unlimited and will continue to grow. There is a growing need for future applications development and production.

  19. Contributions and Future of Radioisotopes in Medical, Industrial and Space Applications

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Tingey, G. L.; Dix, G. P.; Wahlquist, E. J.

    1990-11-01

    There are 333 isotopes that have a half-life between 1 day and 100,000 years that have a wide variety of applications including public health, medicine,industrial technology, food technology and packaging, agriculture, energy supply, and national security. This paper provides an overview of some of the most extensive applications of radioisotopes including some observations of future uses. Examples are discussed that indicate that the use of radioisotopes is almost unlimited and will continue to grow. There is a growing need for future applications development and production. 12 refs., 1 tab. (BM)

  20. Contributions and future of radioisotopes in medical, industrial and space applications

    SciTech Connect

    Tingey, G.L.; Dix, G.P.; Wahlquist, E.J.

    1990-11-01

    There are 333 isotopes that have a half-life between 1 day and 100,000 years that have a wide variety of applications including public health, medicine,industrial technology, food technology and packaging, agriculture, energy supply, and national security. This paper provides an overview of some of the most extensive applications of radioisotopes including some observations of future uses. Examples are discussed that indicate that the use of radioisotopes is almost unlimited and will continue to grow. There is a growing need for future applications development and production. 12 refs., 1 tab. (BM)

  1. Radioisotope electric propulsion for robotic science missions to near-interstellar space

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, R.J.

    1994-10-01

    The use of radioisotope electric propulsion for sending small robotic probes on fast science missions several hundred astronomical units (AU) from the Sun is investigated. Such missions would address a large variety of solar, interstellar, galactic and cosmological science themes from unique vantage points at 100 to 600 AU, including parallax distance measurements for the entire Milky Way Galaxy, sampling of the interstellar medium and imaging of cosmological objects at the gravitational lens foci of the Sun ({ge} 550 AU). Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems are low-thrust, ion propulsion units based on multi-hundred watt, radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. In a previous work, the flight times for rendezvous missions to the outer planets (< 30 AU) using REP were found to be less than fifteen years. However fast prestellar missions to several hundred AU are not possible unless the probe`s energy can be substantially increased in the inner Solar System so as to boost the final hyperbolic excess velocity. In this paper an economical hybrid propulsion scheme combining chemical propulsion and gravity assist in the inner Solar System and radioisotope electric propulsion in the outer Solar System is studied which enables fast prestellar missions. Total hyperbolic excess velocities of 15 AU/year and flight times to 550 AU of about 40 years are possible using REP technology that may be available in the next decade.

  2. Advanced Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2010-01-01

    Fission has been considered for in-space propulsion since the 1940s. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) systems underwent extensive development from 1955-1973, completing 20 full power ground tests and achieving specific impulses nearly twice that of the best chemical propulsion systems. Space fission power systems (which may eventually enable Nuclear Electric Propulsion) have been flown in space by both the United States and the Former Soviet Union. Fission is the most developed and understood of the nuclear propulsion options (e.g. fission, fusion, antimatter, etc.), and fission has enjoyed tremendous terrestrial success for nearly 7 decades. Current space nuclear research and technology efforts are focused on devising and developing first generation systems that are safe, reliable and affordable. For propulsion, the focus is on nuclear thermal rockets that build on technologies and systems developed and tested under the Rover/NERVA and related programs from the Apollo era. NTP Affordability is achieved through use of previously developed fuels and materials, modern analytical techniques and test strategies, and development of a small engine for ground and flight technology demonstration. Initial NTP systems will be capable of achieving an Isp of 900 s at a relatively high thrust-to-weight ratio. The development and use of first generation space fission power and propulsion systems will provide new, game changing capabilities for NASA. In addition, development and use of these systems will provide the foundation for developing extremely advanced power and propulsion systems capable of routinely and affordably accessing any point in the solar system. The energy density of fissile fuel (8 x 10(exp 13) Joules/kg) is more than adequate for enabling extensive exploration and utilization of the solar system. For space fission propulsion systems, the key is converting the virtually unlimited energy of fission into thrust at the desired specific impulse and thrust

  3. Advanced Stirling Convertor Dual Convertor Controller Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center in the Radioisotope Power Systems System Integration Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.; Taylor, Linda M.; Bell, Mark E.; Dolce, James L.; Fraeman, Martin; Frankford, David P.

    2015-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center developed a nonnuclear representation of a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) consisting of a pair of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), Dual Convertor Controller (DCC) EMs (engineering models) 2 and 3, and associated support equipment, which were tested in the Radioisotope Power Systems System Integration Laboratory (RSIL). The DCC was designed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to actively control a pair of ASCs. The first phase of testing included a Dual Advanced Stirling Convertor Simulator (DASCS), which was developed by JHU/APL and simulates the operation and electrical behavior of a pair of ASCs in real time via a combination of hardware and software. RSIL provides insight into the electrical interactions between a representative radioisotope power generator, its associated control schemes, and realistic electric system loads. The first phase of integration testing included the following spacecraft bus configurations: capacitive, battery, and super-capacitor. A load profile, created based on data from several missions, tested the RPS's and RSIL's ability to maintain operation during load demands above and below the power provided by the RPS. The integration testing also confirmed the DCC's ability to disconnect from the spacecraft when the bus voltage dipped below 22 volts or exceeded 36 volts. Once operation was verified with the DASCS, the tests were repeated with actual operating ASCs. The goal of this integration testing was to verify operation of the DCC when connected to a spacecraft and to verify the functionality of the newly designed RSIL. The results of these tests are presented in this paper.

  4. NASA Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.

    2005-01-01

    The focus of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Development program is aimed at developing nuclear power and technologies that would improve the effectiveness of space science missions. The Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology (RPCT) NASA Research Announcement (NRA) is an important mechanism through which research and technology activities are supported in the Advanced Power Conversion Research and Technology project of the Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Development program. The purpose of the RPCT NRA is to advance the development of radioisotope power conversion technologies to provide higher efficiencies and specific powers than existing systems. These advances would enable a factor of two to four decrease in the amount of fuel and a reduction of waste heat required to generate electrical power, and thus could result in more cost effective science missions for NASA. The RPCT NRA selected advanced RPS power conversion technology research and development proposals in the following three areas: innovative RPS power conversion research, RPS power conversion technology development in a nominal 100 W(sub e) scale; and, milliwatt/multi-watt RPS (mWRPS) power conversion research. Ten RPCT NRA contracts were awarded in 2003 in the areas of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectric (TE), and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion technologies. This paper will provide an overview of the RPCT NRA, a summary of the power conversion technologies approaches being pursued, and a brief digest of first year accomplishments.

  5. NASA Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.

    2005-01-01

    The focus of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Development program is aimed at developing nuclear power and technologies that would improve the effectiveness of space science missions. The Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology (RPCT) NASA Research Announcement (NRA) is an important mechanism through which research and technology activities are supported in the Advanced Power Conversion Research and Technology project of the Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Development program. The purpose of the RPCT NRA is to advance the development of radioisotope power conversion technologies to provide higher efficiencies and specific powers than existing systems. These advances would enable a factor of 2 to 4 decrease in the amount of fuel and a reduction of waste heat required to generate electrical power, and thus could result in more cost effective science missions for NASA. The RPCT NRA selected advanced RPS power conversion technology research and development proposals in the following three areas: innovative RPS power conversion research, RPS power conversion technology development in a nominal 100We scale; and, milliwatt/multi-watt RPS (mWRPS) power conversion research. Ten RPCT NRA contracts were awarded in 2003 in the areas of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectric (TE), and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion technologies. This paper will provide an overview of the RPCT NRA, a summary of the power conversion technologies approaches being pursued, and a brief digest of first year accomplishments.

  6. KOVEC studies of radioisotope thermoelectric generator response (In connection with possible NASA space shuttle accident explosion scenarios)

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, J.; Weston, A.; Lee, E.

    1984-06-26

    The Department of Energy (DOE) commissioned a study leading to a final report (NUS-4543, Report of the Shuttle Transportation System (STS) Explosion Working Group (EWG), June 8, 1984), concerned with PuO/sub 2/ dispersal should the NASA space shuttle explode during the proposed Galileo and ISPN launches planned for 1986. At DOE's request, LLNL furnished appendices that describe hydrocode KOVEC calculations of potential damage to the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators, fueled by PuO/sub 2/, should certain explosion scenarios occur. These appendices are contained in this report.

  7. Space to Space Advanced EMU Radio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maicke, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    The main task for this project was the development of a prototype for the Space to Space Advanced EMU Radio (SSAER). The SSAER is an updated version of the Space to Space EMU Radio (SSER), which is the current radio used by EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) for communication between suits and with the ISS. The SSER was developed in 1999, and it was desired to update the design used in the system. Importantly, besides replacing out-of-production parts it was necessary to decrease the size of the radio due to increased volume constraints with the updated Portable Life Support System (PLSS) 2.5, which will be attached on future space suits. In particular, it was desired to fabricate a PCB for the front-end of the prototype SSAER system. Once this board was manufactured and all parts assembled, it could then be tested for quality of operation as well as compliancy with the SSER required specifications. Upon arrival, a small outline of the target system was provided, and it was my responsibility to take that outline to a finished, testable board. This board would include several stages, including frequency mixing, amplification, modulation, demodulation, and handled both the transmit and receive lines of the radio. I developed a new design based on the old SSER system and the outline provided to me, and found parts to fit the tasks in my design. It was also important to consider the specifications of the SSER, which included the system noise figure, gain, and power consumption. Further, all parts needed to be impedance matched, and spurious signals needed to be avoided. In order to fulfill these two requirements, it was necessary to perform some calculations using a Smith Chart and excel analysis. Once all parts were selected, I drew the schematics for the system in Altium Designer. This included developing schematic symbols, as well as layout. Once the schematic was finished, it was then necessary to lay the parts out onto a PCB using Altium. Similar to the schematic

  8. Cryogenic explosion environment modeling and testing of space shuttle and light-weight radioisotope heater unit interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, E.W.

    1985-10-01

    In order to assess the risk to the world's populace in the event of a Space Shuttle accident when radioisotope-containing heat sources are on board, testing of that system must be performed to determine release point, environments required, and the size distribution of the released fuel. To evaluate the performance of the Light-Weight Radioisotope Heater Unit (LWRHU) (101 of these 1-W items are placed on the Galileo spacecraft which will be launched from the Space Shuttle), some high-velocity impact and flyer plate testing was carried out. The results showed that a bare urania-fueled LWRHU clad (approximately 1-mm thick platinum-30 wt % rhodium alloy) will withstand 1100 m/s flyer plate (3.5-mm thick aluminum) impacts and 330 m/s impacts upon the Space Shuttle floor (approximately 12-mm thick aluminum) without rupture or fuel release. Velocities in the order of 600 m/s on a steel surface will cause clad failure with fuel release. The fuel breakup patterns were characterized as to quantity in a specific size range. These data were employed in the formal Safety Analysis Report for the LWRHU to support the planned 1986 Galileo launch. 19 figs.

  9. Advanced Thermophotovoltaic Devices for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Wernsman, Bernard; Mahorter, Robert G.; Siergiej, Richard; Link, Samuel D.; Wehrer, Rebecca J.; Belanger, Sean J.; Fourspring, Patrick; Murray, Susan; Newman, Fred; Taylor, Dan; Rahmlow, Tom

    2005-02-06

    Advanced thermophotovoltaic (TPV) modules capable of producing > 0.3 W/cm2 at an efficiency > 22% while operating at a converter radiator and module temperature of 1228 K and 325 K, respectively, have been made. These advanced TPV modules are projected to produce > 0.9 W/cm2 at an efficiency > 24% while operating at a converter radiator and module temperature of 1373 K and 325 K, respectively. Radioisotope and nuclear (fission) powered space systems utilizing these advanced TPV modules have been evaluated. For a 100 We radioisotope TPV system, systems utilizing as low as 2 general purpose heat source (GPHS) units are feasible, where the specific power for the 2 and 3 GPHS unit systems operating in a 200 K environment is as large as {approx} 16 We/kg and {approx} 14 We/kg, respectively. For a 100 kWe nuclear powered (as was entertained for the thermoelectric SP-100 program) TPV system, the minimum system radiator area and mass is {approx} 640 m2 and {approx} 1150 kg, respectively, for a converter radiator, system radiator and environment temperature of 1373 K, 435 K and 200 K, respectively. Also, for a converter radiator temperature of 1373 K, the converter volume and mass remains less than 0.36 m3 and 640 kg, respectively. Thus, the minimum system radiator + converter (reactor and shield not included) specific mass is {approx} 16 kg/kWe for a converter radiator, system radiator and environment temperature of 1373 K, 425 K and 200 K, respectively. Under this operating condition, the reactor thermal rating is {approx} 1110 kWt. Due to the large radiator area, the added complexity and mission risk needs to be weighed against reducing the reactor thermal rating to determine the feasibility of using TPV for space nuclear (fission) power systems.

  10. Advanced Thermophotovoltaic Devices for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wernsman, Bernard; Mahorter, Robert G.; Siergiej, Richard; Link, Samuel D.; Wehrer, Rebecca J.; Belanger, Sean J.; Fourspring, Patrick; Murray, Susan; Newman, Fred; Taylor, Dan; Rahmlow, Tom

    2005-02-01

    Advanced thermophotovoltaic (TPV) modules capable of producing > 0.3 W/cm2 at an efficiency > 22% while operating at a converter radiator and module temperature of 1228 K and 325 K, respectively, have been made. These advanced TPV modules are projected to produce > 0.9 W/cm2 at an efficiency > 24% while operating at a converter radiator and module temperature of 1373 K and 325 K, respectively. Radioisotope and nuclear (fission) powered space systems utilizing these advanced TPV modules have been evaluated. For a 100 We radioisotope TPV system, systems utilizing as low as 2 general purpose heat source (GPHS) units are feasible, where the specific power for the 2 and 3 GPHS unit systems operating in a 200 K environment is as large as ˜ 16 We/kg and ˜ 14 We/kg, respectively. For a 100 kWe nuclear powered (as was entertained for the thermoelectric SP-100 program) TPV system, the minimum system radiator area and mass is ˜ 640 m2 and ˜ 1150 kg, respectively, for a converter radiator, system radiator and environment temperature of 1373 K, 435 K and 200 K, respectively. Also, for a converter radiator temperature of 1373 K, the converter volume and mass remains less than 0.36 m3 and 640 kg, respectively. Thus, the minimum system radiator + converter (reactor and shield not included) specific mass is ˜ 16 kg/kWe for a converter radiator, system radiator and environment temperature of 1373 K, 425 K and 200 K, respectively. Under this operating condition, the reactor thermal rating is ˜ 1110 kWt. Due to the large radiator area, the added complexity and mission risk needs to be weighed against reducing the reactor thermal rating to determine the feasibility of using TPV for space nuclear (fission) power systems.

  11. Effect of Inert Cover Gas on Performance of Radioisotope Stirling Space Power System

    SciTech Connect

    Carpenter, Robert; Kumar, V; Ore, C; Schock, Alfred

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes an updated Orbital design of a radioisotope Stirling power system and its predicted performance at the beginning and end of a six-year mission to the Jovian moon Europa. The design is based on General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules identical to those previously developed and safety-qualified by the Department of Energy (DOE) which were successfully launched to Jupiter and Saturn by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). In each generator, the heat produced by the decay of the Pu-238 isotope is converted to electric power by two free-piston Stirling engines and linear alternators developed by Stirling Technology Company (STC), and their rejected waste heat is transported to radiators by heat pipes. The principal difference between the proposed system design and previous Orbital designs (Or et al. 2000) is the thermal insulation between the heat source and the generator's housing. Previous designs had employed multifoil insulation, whereas the design described here employs Min-K-1800 thermal insulation. Such insulation had been successfully used by Teledyne and GE in earlier RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators). Although Min-K is a much poorer insulator than multifoil in vacuum and requires a substantially greater thickness for equivalent performance, it offers compensating advantages. Specifically it makes it possible to adjust the generator's BOM temperatures by filling its interior volume with inert cover gas. This makes it possible to meet the generator's BOM and EOM performance goals without exceeding its allowable temperature at the beginning of the mission.

  12. Effect of inert cover gas on performance of radioisotope Stirling space power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, R.; Kumar, V.; Or, C.; Schock, A.

    2001-02-01

    This paper describes an updated Orbital design of a radioisotope Stirling power system and its predicted performance at the beginning and end of a six-year mission to the Jovian moon Europa. The design is based on General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules identical to those previously developed and safety-qualified by the Department of Energy (DOE) which were successfully launched on missions to Jupiter and Saturn by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). In each generator, the heat produced by the decay of the Pu-238 isotope is converted to electric power by two free-piston Stirling engines and linear alternators developed by Stirling Technology Company (STC), and their rejected waste heat is transported to radiators by heat pipes. The principal difference between the proposed system design and previous Orbital designs (Or et al., 2000) is the thermal insulation between the heat source and the generator's housing. Previous designs had employed multifoil insulation, whereas the design described here employs Min-K-1800 thermal insulation. Such insulation had been successfully used by Teledyne and GE in earlier RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators). Although Min-K is a much poorer insulator than multifoil in vacuum and requires a substantially greater thickness for equivalent performance, it offers compensating advantages. Specifically it makes it possible to adjust the generator's BOM temperatures by filling its interior volume with inert cover gas. This makes it possible to meet the generator's BOM and EOM performance goals without exceeding its allowable temperature at the beginning of the mission. .

  13. Computational modeling of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) for interplanetary and deep space travel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nejat, Cyrus; Nejat, Narsis; Nejat, Najmeh

    2014-06-01

    This research project is part of Narsis Nejat Master of Science thesis project that it is done at Shiraz University. The goals of this research are to make a computer model to evaluate the thermal power, electrical power, amount of emitted/absorbed dose, and amount of emitted/absorbed dose rate for static Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG)s that is include a comprehensive study of the types of RTG systems and in particular RTG’s fuel resulting from both natural and artificial isotopes, calculation of the permissible dose radioisotope selected from the above, and conceptual design modeling and comparison between several NASA made RTGs with the project computer model pointing out the strong and weakness points for using this model in nuclear industries for simulation. The heat is being converted to electricity by two major methods in RTGs: static conversion and dynamic conversion. The model that is created for this project is for RTGs that heat is being converted to electricity statically. The model approximates good results as being compared with SNAP-3, SNAP-19, MHW, and GPHS RTGs in terms of electrical power, efficiency, specific power, and types of the mission and amount of fuel mass that is required to accomplish the mission.

  14. Advanced Space Surface Systems Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huffaker, Zachary Lynn; Mueller, Robert P.

    2014-01-01

    The importance of advanced surface systems is becoming increasingly relevant in the modern age of space technology. Specifically, projects pursued by the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) Lab are unparalleled in the field of planetary resourcefulness. This internship opportunity involved projects that support properly utilizing natural resources from other celestial bodies. Beginning with the tele-robotic workstation, mechanical upgrades were necessary to consider for specific portions of the workstation consoles and successfully designed in concept. This would provide more means for innovation and creativity concerning advanced robotic operations. Project RASSOR is a regolith excavator robot whose primary objective is to mine, store, and dump regolith efficiently on other planetary surfaces. Mechanical adjustments were made to improve this robot's functionality, although there were some minor system changes left to perform before the opportunity ended. On the topic of excavator robots, the notes taken by the GMRO staff during the 2013 and 2014 Robotic Mining Competitions were effectively organized and analyzed for logistical purposes. Lessons learned from these annual competitions at Kennedy Space Center are greatly influential to the GMRO engineers and roboticists. Another project that GMRO staff support is Project Morpheus. Support for this project included successfully producing mathematical models of the eroded landing pad surface for the vertical testbed vehicle to predict a timeline for pad reparation. And finally, the last project this opportunity made contribution to was Project Neo, a project exterior to GMRO Lab projects, which focuses on rocket propulsion systems. Additions were successfully installed to the support structure of an original vertical testbed rocket engine, thus making progress towards futuristic test firings in which data will be analyzed by students affiliated with Rocket University. Each project will be explained in

  15. Advanced Materials for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pater, Ruth H.; Curto, Paul A.

    2005-01-01

    Since NASA was created in 1958, over 6400 patents have been issued to the agency--nearly one in a thousand of all patents ever issued in the United States. A large number of these inventions have focused on new materials that have made space travel and exploration of the moon, Mars, and the outer planets possible. In the last few years, the materials developed by NASA Langley Research Center embody breakthroughs in performance and properties that will enable great achievements in space. The examples discussed below offer significant advantages for use in small satellites, i.e., those with payloads under a metric ton. These include patented products such as LaRC SI, LaRC RP 46, LaRC RP 50, PETI-5, TEEK, PETI-330, LaRC CP, TOR-LM and LaRC LCR (patent pending). These and other new advances in nanotechnology engineering, self-assembling nanostructures and multifunctional aerospace materials are presented and discussed below, and applications with significant technological and commercial advantages are proposed.

  16. Advanced materials for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pater, Ruth H.; Curto, Paul A.

    2007-12-01

    Since NASA was created in 1958, over 6400 patents have been issued to the agency—nearly one in a thousand of all patents ever issued in the United States. A large number of these inventions have focused on new materials that have made space travel and exploration of the moon, Mars, and the outer planets possible. In the last few years, the materials developed by NASA Langley Research Center embody breakthroughs in performance and properties that will enable great achievements in space. The examples discussed below offer significant advantages for use in small satellites, i.e., those with payloads under a metric ton. These include patented products such as LaRC SI, LaRC RP 46, LaRC RP 50, PETI-5, TEEK, PETI-330, LaRC CP, TOR-LM and LaRC LCR (patent pending). These and other new advances in nanotechnology engineering, self-assembling nanostructures and multifunctional aerospace materials are presented and discussed below, and applications with significant technological and commercial advantages are proposed.

  17. Recent Advances in Nuclear Powered Electric Propulsion for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassady, R. Joseph; Frisbee, Robert H.; Gilland, James H.; Houts, Michael G.; LaPointe, Michael R.; Maresse-Reading, Colleen M.; Oleson, Steven R.; Polk, James E.; Russell, Derrek; Sengupta, Anita

    2007-01-01

    Nuclear and radioisotope powered electric thrusters are being developed as primary in-space propulsion systems for potential future robotic and piloted space missions. Possible applications for high power nuclear electric propulsion include orbit raising and maneuvering of large space platforms, lunar and Mars cargo transport, asteroid rendezvous and sample return, and robotic and piloted planetary missions, while lower power radioisotope electric propulsion could significantly enhance or enable some future robotic deep space science missions. This paper provides an overview of recent U.S. high power electric thruster research programs, describing the operating principles, challenges, and status of each technology. Mission analysis is presented that compares the benefits and performance of each thruster type for high priority NASA missions. The status of space nuclear power systems for high power electric propulsion is presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of power and thruster development strategies for future radioisotope electric propulsion systems,

  18. Design, Analysis, and Optimization of a Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) Generator, and its Applicability to an Illustrative Space Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schock, A.; Mukunda, M.; Or, C.; Kumar, V.; Summers, G.

    1995-10-01

    The paper describes the results of a DOE-sponsored design study of a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator (RTPV), to complement similar studies of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Stirling Generators (RSGs) previously published by the author. To focus the design effort, it was decided to direct it at a specific illustrative space mission, Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF). That mission, under study by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), envisages a direct eight to nine-year flight to Pluto (the only unexplored planet in the solar system), followed by comprehensive mapping, surface composition, and atmospheric structure measurements during a brief flyby of the planet and its moon Charon, and transmission of the recorded science data to Earth during a six-week post-encounter cruise. Because of Pluto's long distance from the sun (30-50 A.U.) and the mission's large energy demand, JPL has baselined the use of a radioisotope power system for the PFF spacecraft. RTGs have been tentatively selected, because they have been successfully flown on many space missions, and have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability. The only reason for exploring the applicability of the far less mature RTPV systems is their potential for much higher conversion efficiencies, which would greatly reduce the mass and cost of the required radioisotope heat source. Those attributes are particularly important for the PFF mission, which — like all NASA missions under current consideration — is severely mass- and cost-limited. The paper describes the design of an RTPV system consisting of a radioisotope heat source, a thermophotovoltaic converter, and an optimized heat rejection system; and depicts its integration with the PFF spacecraft. It then describes the optical, thermal, electrical, and structural analyses which led to that optimized design, and compares the computed performance of an RTPV system to that of an RTG designed for the same mission. Our analytical

  19. RTG's for space exploration at the end of the 20th century. [radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chmielewski, Art

    1989-01-01

    The use of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) as energy conversion devices for spacecraft designed for weak-sunlight environments is discussed. The two upcoming missions Galileo and Ulysses will both use general-purpose heat source RTGs. Two other missions that are planned for the mid-nineties and will carry RTGs onboard are the comet rendezvous asteroid flyby and Cassini. Another mission that might become a program start in the last decade of the 20th century is Solarprobe, which is most likely to use modular RTGs. Several other missions that are in different planning stages that are in need of RTGs to meet their power requirements are the Mars rover sample return, planetary (Mars) penetrators, microspacecraft, and the Mars Egg. All of these missions are discssed, stressing their RTG requirements.

  20. Carbon-bonded carbon fiber insulation for radioisotope space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Wei, G.C.; Robbins, J.M.

    1985-05-01

    A carbon-bonded carbon fiber (CBCF) insulation developed for a radioisotope heat source is made from chopped rayon fiber about 10 ..mu..m in diameter and 250 ..mu..m long, which is carbonized and bonded with phenolic resin particles. The CBCF is an excellent lightweight insulating material with a nominal density of 0.2 Mg/m/sup 3/ and a thermal conductivity of 0.24 W/(m-K) in vacuum at 2000/sup 0/C. Several attributes that make CBCF particularly suitable for the heat source application have been identified. These include light weight, low thermal conductivity, chemical compatibility, and high-temperature capabilities. The mechanical strength of CBCF insulation is satisfactory for the application. The basic fabrication technique was refined to eliminate undesirable large pores and cracks often present in materials fabricated by earlier techniques. Also, processing was scaled up to increase the fabrication rate by a factor of 10. The specific properties of the CBCF were tailored by adjusting material and processing variables to obtain the desired results. 22 references, 13 figures, 4 tables.

  1. Carbon-bonded carbon fiber insulation for radioisotope space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Wei, G C; Robbins, J M

    1985-05-01

    A carbon-bonded carbon fiber (CBCF) insulation developed for a radioisotope heat source is made from chopped rayon fiber about 10..mu..m long, which is carbonized and bonded with phenolic resin particles. The CBCF is an excellent lightweight insulating material with a nominal density of 0.2 Mg/m/sup 3/ and a thermal conductivity of 0.24 W/(m-K) in vacuum at 2000/sup 0/C. (Several attributes that make CBCF particularly suitable for the heat source application have been identified.) These include light weight, low thermal conductivity, chemical compatibility, and hightemperature capabilities. The mechanical strength of CBCF insulation is satisfactory for the application. The basic fabrication technique was refined to eliminate undesirable large pores and cracks often present in materials fabricated by earlier techniques. Also, processing was scaled up to increase the fabrication rate by a factor of 10. The specific properties of the CBCF were tailored by adjusting material and processing variables to obtain the desired results.

  2. An Overview and Status of NASA's Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Wong, Wayne A.; Tuttle, Karen L.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) development program is developing next generation radioisotope power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that can not be met by either photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power System (RPS) technology. The Advanced Power Conversion Research and Technology project of the Advanced RPS development program is funding research and technology activities through the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) 02-OSS-01, "Research Opportunities in Space Science 2002" entitled "Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology" (RPCT), August 13, 2002. The objective of the RPCT NRA is to advance the development of radioisotope power conversion technologies to provide significant improvements over the state-of-practice General Purpose Heat Source/Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator by providing significantly higher efficiency to reduce the number of radioisotope fuel modules, and increase specific power (watts/kilogram). Other Advanced RPS goals include safety, long-life, reliability, scalability, multi-mission capability, resistance to radiation, and minimal interference with the scientific payload. Ten RPCT NRA contracts were awarded in 2003 in the areas of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectric (TE), and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion technologies. This paper will provide an overview of the RPCT NRA, and a brief summary of accomplishments over the first 18 months but focusing on advancements made over the last 6 months.

  3. Development and characterization of carbon-bonded carbon fiber insulation for radioisotope space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Wei, G.C.; Robbins, J.M.

    1985-06-01

    The General-Purpose Heat Source (GPHS), an improved radioisotope heat source, employs a unique thermal insulation material, carbon-bonded carbon fiber (CBCF), to protect the fuel capsule and to help achieve the highest possible specific power. The CBCF insulation is made from chopped rayon fiber about 10 ..mu..m in diameter and 250 ..mu..m long, which is carbonized and bonded with phenolic resin particles. The CBCF shapes, both tubes and plates, are formed in a multiple molding facility by vacuum molding a water slurry of the carbonized chopped-rayon fiber (54 wt %) and phenolic resin (46 wt %). The molded shapes are subsequently dried and cured. Final carbonization of the resin is at 1600/sup 0/C. Machining to close tolerances (+-0.08 mm) is accomplished by conventional tooling and fixturing. The resulting material is an excellent lightweight insulation with a nominal density of 0.2 Mg/m/sup 3/ and a thermal conductivity of 0.24 W(m.K) in vacuum at 2000/sup 0/C. Several attributes that make CBCF superior to other known high-temperature insulation materials for the GPHS application have been identified. It has the excellent attributes of light weight, low thermal conductivity, chemical compatibility, and high-temperature capabilities. The mechanical strength of CBCF insulation is satisfactory for the GPHS application; it has passed vibration tests simulating launch conditions. The basic fabrication technique was refined to eliminate undesirable large pores and cracks often present in materials fabricated by earlier techniques. Also, processing was scaled up to incease the fabrication rate by a factor of 10. The specific properties of the CBCF were tailored by adjusting material and processing variables to obtain the desired results. We report here how work on CBCF characterization and development conducted at ORNL from 1978 through 1980 has contributed to the GPHS program to meet the requirements of both the Galileo and Ulysees Missions.

  4. Miniature Radioisotope Power Source

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chmielewski, Artur B.

    1995-01-01

    Proposed miniature power source generates electricity for years from heat developed in small radioisotope unit without addition of fuel or dependence on sunlight. Called powerstick, is relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and rugged. Supplies power to small vehicles or scientific instruments in remote locations on Earth or in outer space. Envisioned uses include Mars miniature rovers and monitoring equipment for toxic or nuclear storage sites.

  5. A Conceptual Titan Orbiter with Probe Mission Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abelson, Robert D.; Spilker, Thomas R.; Shirley, James H.

    2006-01-01

    With the remarkable success of the Cassini-Huygens mission, considerable new knowledge has been obtained regarding the surface topography, composition and atmospheric characteristics of Titan. However, Cassini-Huygens represents only a bold beginning for the exploration of Titan, as high resolution mapping will have been performed for only a small fraction of the surface of Titan by the end of the nominal mission. Large gaps in knowledge will remain in key scientific areas including global surface topography, atmospheric and surface composition, precipitation rates, and the density, thickness, and formation processes of clouds. This study details a conceptual follow-on Titan orbiter mission that would provide full global topographic coverage, surface imaging, and meteorological characterization of the atmosphere over a nominal 2-year science mission duration. The reference power requirement is ~1 kWe at EOM and is driven by a high power radar instrument that would provide 3-dimensional measurements of atmospheric clouds, precipitation, and surface topography. While this power level is moderately higher than that of the Cassini spacecraft, higher efficiency advanced RPSs could potentially reduce the plutonium usage to less than 1/3 of that used on the Cassini spacecraft. The Titan Orbiter mission is assumed to launch in 2015. It would utilize advanced RPSs to provide all on-board power, and would employ an aeroshell to aerocapture into Titan orbit. A conceptual advanced Stirling RPS was selected due to its high specific power and conversion efficiency which enabled the ability to include a 500 kg ``black box'' deployed entry probe.

  6. 78 FR 1848 - Plutonium-238 Production for Radioisotope Power Systems for National Aeronautics and Space...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-09

    ... Nuclear Energy Research and Development and Isotope Production Missions in the United States, Including... Infrastructure Capabilities, Office of Space and Defense Power Systems (NE-75), Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S...@nuclear.energy.gov . For information on NEPA analysis for Pu-238 production, please contact: Dr....

  7. Space platform advanced technology study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, G.

    1981-01-01

    Current and past space platform and power module studies were utilized to point the way to areas of development for mechanical devices that will be required for the ultimate implementation of a platform erected and serviced by the Shuttle/Orbiter. The study was performed in accordance with a study plan which included: a review of space platform technology; orbiter berthing system requirements; berthing latch interface requirements, design, and model fabrication; berthing umbilical interface requirements and design; adaptive end effector design and model fabrication; and adaptive end effector requirements.

  8. Assurance Technology Challenges of Advanced Space Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chern, E. James

    2004-01-01

    The initiative to explore space and extend a human presence across our solar system to revisit the moon and Mars post enormous technological challenges to the nation's space agency and aerospace industry. Key areas of technology development needs to enable the endeavor include advanced materials, structures and mechanisms; micro/nano sensors and detectors; power generation, storage and management; advanced thermal and cryogenic control; guidance, navigation and control; command and data handling; advanced propulsion; advanced communication; on-board processing; advanced information technology systems; modular and reconfigurable systems; precision formation flying; solar sails; distributed observing systems; space robotics; and etc. Quality assurance concerns such as functional performance, structural integrity, radiation tolerance, health monitoring, diagnosis, maintenance, calibration, and initialization can affect the performance of systems and subsystems. It is thus imperative to employ innovative nondestructive evaluation methodologies to ensure quality and integrity of advanced space systems. Advancements in integrated multi-functional sensor systems, autonomous inspection approaches, distributed embedded sensors, roaming inspectors, and shape adaptive sensors are sought. Concepts in computational models for signal processing and data interpretation to establish quantitative characterization and event determination are also of interest. Prospective evaluation technologies include ultrasonics, laser ultrasonics, optics and fiber optics, shearography, video optics and metrology, thermography, electromagnetics, acoustic emission, x-ray, data management, biomimetics, and nano-scale sensing approaches for structural health monitoring.

  9. Advanced Space Radiation Detector Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wrbanek, John D.; Wrbanek, Susan Y.; Fralick, Gustave C.

    2013-01-01

    The advanced space radiation detector development team at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has the goal of developing unique, more compact radiation detectors that provide improved real-time data on space radiation. The team has performed studies of different detector designs using a variety of combinations of solid-state detectors, which allow higher sensitivity to radiation in a smaller package and operate at lower voltage than traditional detectors. Integration of multiple solid-state detectors will result in an improved detector system in comparison to existing state-of-the-art instruments for the detection and monitoring of the space radiation field for deep space and aerospace applications.

  10. Advanced Space Radiation Detector Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wrbanek, John D.; Wrbanek, Susan Y.; Fralick, Gustave C.

    2013-01-01

    The advanced space radiation detector development team at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has the goal of developing unique, more compact radiation detectors that provide improved real-time data on space radiation. The team has performed studies of different detector designs using a variety of combinations of solid-state detectors, which allow higher sensitivity to radiation in a smaller package and operate at lower voltage than traditional detectors. Integration of multiple solid-state detectors will result in an improved detector system in comparison to existing state-of-the-art instruments for the detection and monitoring of the space radiation field for deep space and aerospace applications.

  11. Advanced Space Radiation Detector Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wrbanek, John D.; Wrbanek, Susan Y.; Fralick, Gustave C.

    2013-01-01

    The advanced space radiation detector development team at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has the goal of developing unique, more compact radiation detectors that provide improved real-time data on space radiation. The team has performed studies of different detector designs using a variety of combinations of solid-state detectors, which allow higher sensitivity to radiation in a smaller package and operate at lower voltage than traditional detectors. Integration of multiple solid-state detectors will result in an improved detector system in comparison to existing state-of-the-art (SOA) instruments for the detection and monitoring of the space radiation field for deep space and aerospace applications.

  12. Coordinating Space Nuclear Research Advancement and Education

    SciTech Connect

    John D. Bess; Jonathon A. Webb; Brian J. Gross; Aaron E. Craft

    2009-11-01

    The advancement of space exploration using nuclear science and technology has been a goal sought by many individuals over the years. The quest to enable space nuclear applications has experienced many challenges such as funding restrictions; lack of political, corporate, or public support; and limitations in educational opportunities. The Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) was established at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) with the mission to address the numerous challenges and opportunities relevant to the promotion of space nuclear research and education.1 The CSNR is operated by the Universities Space Research Association and its activities are overseen by a Science Council comprised of various representatives from academic and professional entities with space nuclear experience. Program participants in the CSNR include academic researchers and students, government representatives, and representatives from industrial and corporate entities. Space nuclear educational opportunities have traditionally been limited to various sponsored research projects through government agencies or industrial partners, and dedicated research centers. Centralized research opportunities are vital to the growth and development of space nuclear advancement. Coordinated and focused research plays a key role in developing the future leaders in the space nuclear field. The CSNR strives to synchronize research efforts and provide means to train and educate students with skills to help them excel as leaders.

  13. Medical technology advances from space research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pool, S. L.

    1972-01-01

    Details of medical research and development programs, particularly an integrated medical laboratory, as derived from space technology are given. The program covers digital biotelemetry systems, automatic visual field mapping equipment, sponge electrode caps for clinical electroencephalograms, and advanced respiratory analysis equipment. The possibility of using the medical laboratory in ground based remote areas and regional health care facilities, as well as long duration space missions is discussed.

  14. Advanced space program studies, overall executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Multidisciplined advanced planning studies were conducted that involve space operations and the associated system elements, identification of potential low cost system techniques, vehicle design, cost synthesis techniques, DoD technology forecasting, and the development of near and far term space initiatives with emphasis on domestic and military use commonality. Specific areas studied include: (1) manned systems utilization; (2) STS users; (3) vehicle cost/performance; (4) space vehicle applications to future national needs; (5) STS spin stabilized upper stage; and (6) technology assessment and forecast.

  15. Advanced transponders for deep space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Tien M.; Kayalar, Selahattin; Yeh, Hen-Geul; Kyriacou, Charles

    1993-01-01

    Three architectures for advanced deep space transponders are proposed. The architectures possess various digital techniques such as fast Fourier transform (FFT), digital phase-locked loop (PLL), and digital sideband aided carrier detection with analog or digital turn-around ranging. Preliminary results on the design and conceptual implementation are presented. Modifications to the command detector unit (CDU) are also presented.

  16. Cost estimating methods for advanced space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cyr, Kelley

    1988-01-01

    The development of parametric cost estimating methods for advanced space systems in the conceptual design phase is discussed. The process of identifying variables which drive cost and the relationship between weight and cost are discussed. A theoretical model of cost is developed and tested using a historical data base of research and development projects.

  17. Advances in Structures for Large Space Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belvin, W. Keith

    2004-01-01

    The development of structural systems for scientific remote sensing and space exploration has been underway for four decades. The seminal work from 1960 to 1980 provided the basis for many of the design principles of modern space systems. From 1980- 2000 advances in active materials and structures and the maturing of composites technology led to high precision active systems such those used in the Space Interferometry Mission. Recently, thin-film membrane or gossamer structures are being investigated for use in large area space systems because of their low mass and high packaging efficiency. Various classes of Large Space Systems (LSS) are defined in order to describe the goals and system challenges in structures and materials technologies. With an appreciation of both past and current technology developments, future technology challenges are used to develop a list of technology investments that can have significant impacts on LSS development.

  18. Power from Radioisotopes, Understanding the Atom Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corliss, William R.; Mead, Robert L.

    This 1971 revision deals with radioisotopes and their use in power generators. Early developments and applications for the Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) and Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) are reviewed. Present uses in space and on earth are included. Uses in space are as power sources in various satellites and space…

  19. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion for Advanced Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, M. G.; Borowski, S. K.; George, J. A.; Kim, T.; Emrich, W. J.; Hickman, R. R.; Broadway, J. W.; Gerrish, H. P.; Adams, R. B.

    2012-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) based on NTP could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of the NCPS in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NCPS project could help enable both advanced NTP and advanced Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  20. Safe use of radioisotopes.

    PubMed

    Meisenhelder, J; Semba, K

    2001-05-01

    The use of radioisotopes to label specific molecules in a defined way has greatly advanced the discovery and dissection of biochemical pathways. The development of methods to inexpensively synthesize such tagged biological compounds on an industrial scale has enabled them to be used routinely in laboratory protocols, including many detailed in this manual. Although most of these protocols involve the use of only microcurie (mCi) amounts of radioactivity, some (particularly those describing the metabolic labeling of proteins or nucleic acids within cells) require amounts on the order of millicuries (mCi). In all cases where radioisotopes are used, depending on the quantity and nature of the isotope, certain precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of the investigator. It is essential to use good safety practices and proper protection to handle radioactive substances. This unit discusses storage, handling, and disposal of 35S, 32P, 33P, and 125I. PMID:18228276

  1. The NASA Advanced Space Power Systems Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; Hoberecht, Mark A.; Bennett, William R.; Lvovich, Vadim F.; Bugga, Ratnakumar

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the NASA Advanced Space Power Systems Project is to develop advanced, game changing technologies that will provide future NASA space exploration missions with safe, reliable, light weight and compact power generation and energy storage systems. The development effort is focused on maturing the technologies from a technology readiness level of approximately 23 to approximately 56 as defined in the NASA Procedural Requirement 7123.1B. Currently, the project is working on two critical technology areas: High specific energy batteries, and regenerative fuel cell systems with passive fluid management. Examples of target applications for these technologies are: extending the duration of extravehicular activities (EVA) with high specific energy and energy density batteries; providing reliable, long-life power for rovers with passive fuel cell and regenerative fuel cell systems that enable reduced system complexity. Recent results from the high energy battery and regenerative fuel cell technology development efforts will be presented. The technical approach, the key performance parameters and the technical results achieved to date in each of these new elements will be included. The Advanced Space Power Systems Project is part of the Game Changing Development Program under NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate.

  2. Advanced science and applications space platform

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, J.; Runge, F. C.

    1981-01-01

    Requirements for and descriptions of the mission equipment, subsystems, configuration, utilities, and interfaces for an Advanced Science and Applications Space Platform (ASASP) are developed using large space structure technology. Structural requirements and attitude control system concepts are emphasized. To support the development of ASASP requirements, a mission was described that would satisfy the requirements of a representative set of payloads requiring large separation distances selected from the Science and Applications Space Platform data base. Platform subsystems are defined which support the payload requirements and a physical platform concept is developed. Structural system requirements which include utilities accommodation, interface requirements, and platform strength and stiffness requirements are developed. An attitude control system concept is also described. The resultant ASASP is analyzed and technological developments deemed necessary in the area of large space systems are recommended.

  3. Advanced automation in space shuttle mission control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heindel, Troy A.; Rasmussen, Arthur N.; Mcfarland, Robert Z.

    1991-01-01

    The Real Time Data System (RTDS) Project was undertaken in 1987 to introduce new concepts and technologies for advanced automation into the Mission Control Center environment at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The project's emphasis is on producing advanced near-operational prototype systems that are developed using a rapid, interactive method and are used by flight controllers during actual Shuttle missions. In most cases the prototype applications have been of such quality and utility that they have been converted to production status. A key ingredient has been an integrated team of software engineers and flight controllers working together to quickly evolve the demonstration systems.

  4. An Overview and Status of NASA's Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Wong, Wayne A.; Tuttle, Karen L.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) development program is developing next generation radioisotope power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that can not be met by either photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power System (RPS) technology. The Advanced Power Conversion Research and Technology project of the Advanced RPS development program is funding research and technology activities through the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) 02- OSS-01, "Research Opportunities in Space Science 2002" entitled "Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology" (RPCT), 13 August 2002. The objective of the RPCT NRA is to advance the development of radioisotope power conversion technologies to provide significant improvements over the state-of-practice General Purpose Heat Source/Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator by providing significantly higher efficiency to reduce the number of radioisotope fuel modules, and increase specific power (watts/kilogram). Other Advanced RPS goals include safety, long-life, reliability, scalability, multi-mission capability, resistance to radiation, and minimal interference with the scientific payload. These advances would enable a factor of 2 to 4 decrease in the amount of fuel required to generate electrical power. The RPCT NRA selected advanced RPS power conversion technology research and development proposals in the following three areas: innovative RPS power conversion research, RPS power conversion technology development in a nominal 100We scale; and, milliwatt/multi-watt RPS (mWRPS) power conversion research. Ten RPCT NRA contracts were awarded in 2003 in the areas of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectric (TE), and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion technologies. This paper will provide an overview of the RPCT NRA, and a brief summary of accomplishments over the first 18 months but focusing on advancements made over the last 6 months.

  5. NASA's Advanced Space Transportation Hypersonic Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueter, Uwe; McClinton, Charles; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    NASA's has established long term goals for access-to-space. NASA's third generation launch systems are to be fully reusable and operational in approximately 25 years. The goals for third generation launch systems are to reduce cost by a factor of 100 and improve safety by a factor of 10,000 over current conditions. The Advanced Space Transportation Program Office (ASTP) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL has the agency lead to develop third generation space transportation technologies. The Hypersonics Investment Area, part of ASTP, is developing the third generation launch vehicle technologies in two main areas, propulsion and airframes. The program's major investment is in hypersonic airbreathing propulsion since it offers the greatest potential for meeting the third generation launch vehicles. The program will mature the technologies in three key propulsion areas, scramjets, rocket-based combined cycle and turbine-based combination cycle. Ground and flight propulsion tests are being planned for the propulsion technologies. Airframe technologies will be matured primarily through ground testing. This paper describes NASA's activities in hypersonics. Current programs, accomplishments, future plans and technologies that are being pursued by the Hypersonics Investment Area under the Advanced Space Transportation Program Office will be discussed.

  6. Advanced electrostatic ion thruster for space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masek, T. D.; Macpherson, D.; Gelon, W.; Kami, S.; Poeschel, R. L.; Ward, J. W.

    1978-01-01

    The suitability of the baseline 30 cm thruster for future space missions was examined. Preliminary design concepts for several advanced thrusters were developed to assess the potential practical difficulties of a new design. Useful methodologies were produced for assessing both planetary and earth orbit missions. Payload performance as a function of propulsion system technology level and cost sensitivity to propulsion system technology level are among the topics assessed. A 50 cm diameter thruster designed to operate with a beam voltage of about 2400 V is suggested to satisfy most of the requirements of future space missions.

  7. NASA's Space Launch System Advanced Booster Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Kimberly F.; Crumbly, Christopher M.; May, Todd A.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Space Launch System (SLS) Program, managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, is making progress toward delivering a new capability for human space flight and scientific missions beyond Earth orbit. NASA is executing this development within flat budgetary guidelines by using existing engines assets and heritage technology to ready an initial 70 metric ton (t) lift capability for launch in 2017, and then employing a block upgrade approach to evolve a 130-t capability after 2021. A key component of the SLS acquisition plan is a three-phased approach for the first-stage boosters. The first phase is to expedite the 70-t configuration by completing development of the Space Shuttle heritage 5-segment solid rocket boosters (SRBs) for the initial flights of SLS. Since no existing boosters can meet the performance requirements for the 130-t class SLS, the next phases of the strategy focus on the eventual development of advanced boosters with an expected thrust class potentially double the current 5-segment solid rocket booster capability of 3.88 million pounds of thrust each. The second phase in the booster acquisition plan is the Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction (ABEDRR) effort, for which contracts were awarded beginning in 2012 after a full and open competition, with a stated intent to reduce risks leading to an affordable advanced booster. NASA has awarded ABEDRR contracts to four industry teams, which are looking into new options for liquid-fuel booster engines, solid-fuel-motor propellants, and composite booster structures. Demonstrations and/or risk reduction efforts were required to be related to a proposed booster concept directly applicable to fielding an advanced booster. This paper will discuss the status of this acquisition strategy and its results toward readying both the 70 t and 130 t configurations of SLS. The third and final phase will be a full and open

  8. Medical technology advances from space research.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pool, S. L.

    1971-01-01

    NASA-sponsored medical R & D programs for space applications are reviewed with particular attention to the benefits of these programs to earthbound medical services and to the general public. Notable among the results of these NASA programs is an integrated medical laboratory equipped with numerous advanced systems such as digital biotelemetry and automatic visual field mapping systems, sponge electrode caps for electroencephalograms, and sophisticated respiratory analysis equipment.

  9. Advanced space power PEM fuel cell systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanderborgh, N. E.; Hedstrom, J.; Huff, J. R.

    1989-01-01

    A model showing mass and heat transfer in proton exchange membrane (PEM) single cells is presented. For space applications, stack operation requiring combined water and thermal management is needed. Advanced hardware designs able to combine these two techniques are available. Test results are shown for membrane materials which can operate with sufficiently fast diffusive water transport to sustain current densities of 300 ma per square centimeter. Higher power density levels are predicted to require active water removal.

  10. NASA's advanced space transportation system launch vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Branscome, Darrell R.

    1991-01-01

    Some insight is provided into the advanced transportation planning and systems that will evolve to support long term mission requirements. The general requirements include: launch and lift capacity to low earth orbit (LEO); space based transfer systems for orbital operations between LEO and geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), the Moon, and Mars; and Transfer vehicle systems for long duration deep space probes. These mission requirements are incorporated in the NASA Civil Needs Data Base. To accomplish these mission goals, adequate lift capacity to LEO must be available: to support science and application missions; to provide for construction of the Space Station Freedom; and to support resupply of personnel and supplies for its operations. Growth in lift capacity must be time phased to support an expanding mission model that includes Freedom Station, the Mission to Planet Earth, and an expanded robotic planetary program. The near term increase in cargo lift capacity associated with development of the Shuttle-C is addressed. The joint DOD/NASA Advanced Launch System studies are focused on a longer term new cargo capability that will significantly reduce costs of placing payloads in space.

  11. Advanced power sources for space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gavin, Joseph G., Jr.; Burkes, Tommy R.; English, Robert E.; Grant, Nicholas J.; Kulcinski, Gerald L.; Mullin, Jerome P.; Peddicord, K. Lee; Purvis, Carolyn K.; Sarjeant, W. James; Vandevender, J. Pace

    1989-01-01

    Approaches to satisfying the power requirements of space-based Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) missions are studied. The power requirements for non-SDI military space missions and for civil space missions of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are also considered. The more demanding SDI power requirements appear to encompass many, if not all, of the power requirements for those missions. Study results indicate that practical fulfillment of SDI requirements will necessitate substantial advances in the state of the art of power technology. SDI goals include the capability to operate space-based beam weapons, sometimes referred to as directed-energy weapons. Such weapons pose unprecedented power requirements, both during preparation for battle and during battle conditions. The power regimes for these two sets of applications are referred to as alert mode and burst mode, respectively. Alert-mode power requirements are presently stated to range from about 100 kW to a few megawatts for cumulative durations of about a year or more. Burst-mode power requirements are roughly estimated to range from tens to hundreds of megawatts for durations of a few hundred to a few thousand seconds. There are two likely energy sources, chemical and nuclear, for powering SDI directed-energy weapons during the alert and burst modes. The choice between chemical and nuclear space power systems depends in large part on the total duration during which power must be provided. Complete study findings, conclusions, and eight recommendations are reported.

  12. Advanced materials for space nuclear power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Titran, R.H.; Grobstein, T.L. . Lewis Research Center); Ellis, D.L. )

    1991-01-01

    Research on monolithic refractory metal alloys and on metal matrix composites is being conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, in support of advanced space power systems. The overall philosophy of the research is to develop and characterize new high-temperature power conversion and radiator materials and to provide spacecraft designers with material selection options and design information. Research on three candidate materials (carbide strengthened niobium alloy PWC-11 for fuel cladding, graphite fiber reinforced copper matrix composites (Gr/Cu) for heat rejection fins, and tungsten fiber reinforced niobium matrix composites (W/NB) for fuel containment and structural supports) considered for space power system applications is discussed. Each of these types of materials offers unique advantages for space power applications.

  13. Advanced decision aiding techniques applicable to space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kruchten, Robert J.

    1987-01-01

    RADC has had an intensive program to show the feasibility of applying advanced technology to Air Force decision aiding situations. Some aspects of the program, such as Satellite Autonomy, are directly applicable to space systems. For example, RADC has shown the feasibility of decision aids that combine the advantages of laser disks and computer generated graphics; decision aids that interface object-oriented programs with expert systems; decision aids that solve path optimization problems; etc. Some of the key techniques that could be used in space applications are reviewed. Current applications are reviewed along with their advantages and disadvantages, and examples are given of possible space applications. The emphasis is to share RADC experience in decision aiding techniques.

  14. Status of the NASA Stirling Radioisotope Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been considered a candidate for radioisotope power systems for space for more than a decade. Prior to the free-piston Stirling architecture, systems were designed with kinematic Stirling engines that used linkages and rotary alternators to convert heat to electricity. These systems were able to achieve long life by lightly loading the linkages; however, the live was nonetheless limited. When the free-piston configuration was initially proposed, it was thought to be attractive due to the relatively high conversion efficiency, acceptable mass, and the potential for long life and high reliability based on wear-free operation. These features have consistently been recognized by teams that have studied technology options for radioisotope space power systems. Since free-piston Stirling power conversion was first considered for space power applications, there have been major advances in three general areas of development: hardware that has demonstrated long-life and reliability, the success achieved by Stirling cryocoolers in space, and the overall developmental maturity of the technology for both space and terrestrial applications. Based on these advances, free-piston Stirling convertors are currently being developed for space power, and for a number of terrestrial applications. They commonly operate with the power, efficiency, life, and reliability as intended, and much of the development now centers on system integration. This paper will summarize the accomplishments of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology over the past decade, review the status of development with regard to space power, and discuss the challenges that remain.

  15. Advanced energy storage for space applications: A follow-up

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpert, Gerald; Surampudi, Subbarao

    1994-01-01

    Viewgraphs on advanced energy storage for space applications are presented. Topics covered include: categories of space missions using batteries; battery challenges; properties of SOA and advanced primary batteries; lithium primary cell applications; advanced rechargeable battery applications; present limitations of advanced battery technologies; and status of Li-TiS2, Ni-MH, and Na-NiCl2 cell technologies.

  16. Advanced Biotelemetry Systems for Space Life Sciences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hines, John W.; Connolly, John P. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The Sensors 2000! Program at NASA-Ames Research Center is developing an Advanced Biotelemetry System (ABTS) for Space Life Sciences applications. This modular suite of instrumentation is planned to be used in operational spaceflight missions, ground-based research and development experiments, and collaborative, technology transfer and commercialization activities. The measured signals will be transmitted via radio-frequency (RF), electromagnetic or optical carriers and direct-connected leads to a remote ABTS receiver and data acquisition system for data display, storage, and transmission to Earth. Intermediate monitoring and display systems may be hand held or portable, and will allow for personalized acquisition and control of medical and physiological data.

  17. Advanced Autonomous Systems for Space Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, A. R.; Smith, B. D.; Muscettola, N.; Barrett, A.; Mjolssness, E.; Clancy, D. J.

    2002-01-01

    New missions of exploration and space operations will require unprecedented levels of autonomy to successfully accomplish their objectives. Inherently high levels of complexity, cost, and communication distances will preclude the degree of human involvement common to current and previous space flight missions. With exponentially increasing capabilities of computer hardware and software, including networks and communication systems, a new balance of work is being developed between humans and machines. This new balance holds the promise of not only meeting the greatly increased space exploration requirements, but simultaneously dramatically reducing the design, development, test, and operating costs. New information technologies, which take advantage of knowledge-based software, model-based reasoning, and high performance computer systems, will enable the development of a new generation of design and development tools, schedulers, and vehicle and system health management capabilities. Such tools will provide a degree of machine intelligence and associated autonomy that has previously been unavailable. These capabilities are critical to the future of advanced space operations, since the science and operational requirements specified by such missions, as well as the budgetary constraints will limit the current practice of monitoring and controlling missions by a standing army of ground-based controllers. System autonomy capabilities have made great strides in recent years, for both ground and space flight applications. Autonomous systems have flown on advanced spacecraft, providing new levels of spacecraft capability and mission safety. Such on-board systems operate by utilizing model-based reasoning that provides the capability to work from high-level mission goals, while deriving the detailed system commands internally, rather than having to have such commands transmitted from Earth. This enables missions of such complexity and communication` distances as are not

  18. RUBIN Microsatellites for Advanced Space Technology Demonstration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalnins, Indulis

    The first new space technology demonstration payload BIRD-RUBIN was developed by OHB- System in co-operation with students from the University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, and was successfully launched July 15th, 2000 together with the scientific satellites CHAMP and MITA onboard a COSMOS 3M launcher. The BIRD-RUBIN mission has tested the telematics technology in space via ORBCOMM network. Small data packages were sent by the hatbox sized system to the ORBCOMM satellite net, then transmitted further on to the ground stations and from that point entered into the internet. The payload user could retrieve the data direct via email account and was able to send commands back to payload in orbit. The next micro satellite RUBIN-2 for advanced space technology demonstration will be launched at the end of 2002 as "secondary" payload on the Russian launcher DNEPR. The RUBIN-2 micro satellite platform will use again the inter-satellite communication mode via Orbcomm network and offers an orbital testbed with low cost, bi-directional and near real-time Internet access. In parallel to the further inter satellite link experiments using Orbcomm, several additional leading edge technology experiments will be done onboard Rubin-2 (electrical propulsion, two loop miniaturized thermal control system, GPS navigation, LI-Ion Battery, etc.). This paper provides an overview of RUBIN micro satellites for advanced space technology demonstrations. The main results of the first BIRD-RUBIN experiment and the goals of the second Rubin-2 mission are described. The potential of low cost technology demonstration missions using Internet and inter satellite communication technology via commercial satellite systems and the piggyback flight opportunities on Russian launchers are discussed.

  19. MSFC's Advanced Space Propulsion Formulation Task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huebner, Lawrence D.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Robinson, Joel W.; Taylor, Terry L.

    2012-01-01

    In NASA s Fiscal Year 2012, a small project was undertaken to provide additional substance, depth, and activity knowledge to the technology areas identified in the In-Space Propulsion Systems Roadmap, Technology Area 02 (TA-02), as created under the auspices of the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). This roadmap was divided into four basic groups: (1) Chemical Propulsion, (2) Non-chemical Propulsion, (3) Advanced (TRL<3) Propulsion Technologies, and (4) Supporting Technologies. The first two were grouped according to the governing physics. The third group captured technologies and physic concepts that are at a lower TRL level. The fourth group identified pertinent technical areas that are strongly coupled with these related areas which could allow significant improvements in performance. There were a total of 45 technologies identified in TA-02, and 25 of these were studied in this formulation task. The goal of this task was to provide OCT with a knowledge-base for decisionmaking on advanced space propulsion technologies and not waste money by unintentionally repeating past projects or funding the technologies with minor impacts. This formulation task developed the next level of detail for technologies described and provides context to OCT where investments should be made. The presentation will begin with the list of technologies from TA-02, how they were prioritized for this study, and details on what additional data was captured for the technologies studied. Following this, some samples of the documentation will be provided, followed by plans on how the data will be made accessible.

  20. Investigation of Insulation Materials for Future Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Hurwitz, Frances I.; Ellis, David L.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Technology Advancement Project is developing next generation high-temperature insulation materials that directly benefit thermal management and improve performance of RPS for future science missions. Preliminary studies on the use of multilayer insulation (MLI) for Stirling convertors used on the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) have shown the potential benefits of MLI for space vacuum applications in reducing generator size and increasing specific power (W/kg) as compared to the baseline Microtherm HT (Microtherm, Inc.) insulation. Further studies are currently being conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center on candidate MLI foils and aerogel composite spacers. This paper presents the method of testing of foils and spacers and experimental results to date.

  1. Investigation of Insulation Materials for Future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Hurwitz, Frances I.; Ellis, David L.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power System (RPS) Technology Advancement Project is developing next generation high temperature insulation materials that directly benefit thermal management and improve performance of RPS for future science missions. Preliminary studies on the use of multilayer insulation (MLI) for Stirling convertors used on the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) have shown the potential benefits of MLI for space vacuum applications in reducing generator size and increasing specific power (W/kg) as compared to the baseline Microtherm HT (Microtherm, Inc.) insulation. Further studies are currently being conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) on candidate MLI foils and aerogel composite spacers. This paper presents the method of testing of foils and spacers and experimental results to date.

  2. Center for Advanced Space Propulsion (CASP)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    With a mission to initiate and conduct advanced propulsion research in partnership with industry, and a goal to strengthen U.S. national capability in propulsion technology, the Center for Advanced Space Propulsion (CASP) is the only NASA Center for Commercial Development of Space (CCDS) which focuses on propulsion and associated technologies. Meetings with industrial partners and NASA Headquarters personnel provided an assessment of the constraints placed on, and opportunities afforded commercialization projects. Proprietary information, data rights, and patent rights were some of the areas where well defined information is crucial to project success and follow-on efforts. There were five initial CASP projects. At the end of the first year there are six active, two of which are approaching the ground test phase in their development. Progress in the current six projects has met all milestones and is detailed. Working closely with the industrial counterparts it was found that the endeavors in expert systems development, computational fluid dynamics, fluid management in microgravity, and electric propulsion were well received. One project with the Saturn Corporation which dealt with expert systems application in the assembly process, was placed on hold pending further direction from Saturn. The Contamination Measurment and Analysis project was not implemented since CASP was unable to identify an industrial participant. Additional propulsion and related projects were investigated during the year. A subcontract was let to a small business, MicroCraft, Inc., to study rocket engine certification standards. The study produced valuable results; however, based on a number of factors it was decided not to pursue this project further.

  3. Space water electrolysis: Space Station through advance missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davenport, Ronald J.; Schubert, Franz H.; Grigger, David J.

    1991-09-01

    Static Feed Electrolyzer (SFE) technology can satisfy the need for oxygen (O2) and Hydrogen (H2) in the Space Station Freedom and future advanced missions. The efficiency with which the SFE technology can be used to generate O2 and H2 is one of its major advantages. In fact, the SFE is baselined for the Oxygen Generation Assembly within the Space Station Freedom's Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). In the conventional SFE process an alkaline electrolyte is contained within the matrix and is sandwiched between two porous electrodes. The electrodes and matrix make up a unitized cell core. The electrolyte provides the necessary path for the transport of water and ions between the electrodes, and forms a barrier to the diffusion of O2 and H2. A hydrophobic, microporous membrane permits water vapor to diffuse from the feed water to the cell core. This membrane separates the liquid feed water from the product H2, and, therefore, avoids direct contact of the electrodes by the feed water. The feed water is also circulated through an external heat exchanger to control the temperature of the cell.

  4. Advancing Autonomous Operations for Deep Space Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haddock, Angie T.; Stetson, Howard K.

    2014-01-01

    Starting in Jan 2012, the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Autonomous Mission Operations (AMO) Project began to investigate the ability to create and execute "single button" crew initiated autonomous activities [1]. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) designed and built a fluid transfer hardware test-bed to use as a sub-system target for the investigations of intelligent procedures that would command and control a fluid transfer test-bed, would perform self-monitoring during fluid transfers, detect anomalies and faults, isolate the fault and recover the procedures function that was being executed, all without operator intervention. In addition to the development of intelligent procedures, the team is also exploring various methods for autonomous activity execution where a planned timeline of activities are executed autonomously and also the initial analysis of crew procedure development. This paper will detail the development of intelligent procedures for the NASA MSFC Autonomous Fluid Transfer System (AFTS) as well as the autonomous plan execution capabilities being investigated. Manned deep space missions, with extreme communication delays with Earth based assets, presents significant challenges for what the on-board procedure content will encompass as well as the planned execution of the procedures.

  5. Thermal Analysis and Design of an Advanced Space Suit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, Chin H.; Campbell, Anthony B.; French, Jonathan D.; French, D.; Nair, Satish S.; Miles, John B.

    2000-01-01

    The thermal dynamics and design of an Advanced Space Suit are considered. A transient model of the Advanced Space Suit has been developed and implemented using MATLAB/Simulink to help with sizing, with design evaluation, and with the development of an automatic thermal comfort control strategy. The model is described and the thermal characteristics of the Advanced Space suit are investigated including various parametric design studies. The steady state performance envelope for the Advanced Space Suit is defined in terms of the thermal environment and human metabolic rate and the transient response of the human-suit-MPLSS system is analyzed.

  6. Center for Advanced Space Propulsion Second Annual Technical Symposium Proceedings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    The proceedings for the Center for Advanced Space Propulsion Second Annual Technical Symposium are divided as follows: Chemical Propulsion, CFD; Space Propulsion; Electric Propulsion; Artificial Intelligence; Low-G Fluid Management; and Rocket Engine Materials.

  7. Advanced space transportation systems, BARGOUZIN booster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prampolini, Marco; Louaas, Eric; Prel, Yves; Kostromin, Sergey; Panichkin, Nickolay; Sumin, Yuriy; Osin, Mikhail; Iranzo-Greus, David; Rigault, Michel; Beaurain, André; Couteau, Jean-Noël

    2008-07-01

    In the framework of Advanced Space Transportation Systems Studies sponsored by CNES in 2006, a study called "BARGOUZIN" was performed by a joint team led by ASTRIUM ST and TSNIIMASH. Beyond these leaders, the team comprised MOLNIYA, DASSAULT AVIATION and SNECMA as subcontractors. The "BARGOUZIN" concept is a liquid fuelled fly-back booster (LFBB), mounted on the ARIANE 5 central core stage in place of the current solid rocket booster. The main originality of the concept lies in the fact that the "BARGOUZIN" features a cluster of VULCAIN II engines, similar to the one mounted on the central core stage of ARIANE 5. An astute permutation strategy, between the booster engines and central core engine is expected to lead to significant cost reductions. The following aspects were addressed during the preliminary system study: engine number per booster trade-off/abort scenario analysis, aerodynamic consolidation, engine reliability, ascent controllability, ground interfaces separation sequence analysis, programmatics. These topics will be briefly presented and synthesized in this paper, giving an overview of the credibility of the concept.

  8. Power Management for Space Advanced Life Support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Harry

    2001-01-01

    Space power systems include the power source, storage, and management subsystems. In current crewed spacecraft, solar cells are the power source, batteries provide storage, and the crew performs any required load scheduling. For future crewed planetary surface systems using Advanced Life Support, we assume that plants will be grown to produce much of the crew's food and that nuclear power will be employed. Battery storage is much more costly than nuclear power capacity and so is not likely to be used. We investigate the scheduling of power demands by the crew or automatic control, to reduce the peak power load and the required generating capacity. The peak to average power ratio is a good measure of power use efficiency. We can easily schedule power demands to reduce the peak power from its maximum, but simple scheduling approaches may not find the lowest possible peak to average power ratio. An initial power scheduling example was simple enough for a human to solve, but a more complex example with many intermittent load demands required automatic scheduling. Excess power is a free resource and can be used even for minor benefits.

  9. Advanced planar array development for space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The results of the Advanced Planar Array Development for the Space Station contract are presented. The original objectives of the contract were: (1) to develop a process for manufacturing superstrate assemblies, (2) to demonstrate superstrate technology through fabrication and test, (3) to develop and analyze a preliminary solar array wing design, and (4) to fabricate a wing segment based on wing design. The primary tasks completed were designing test modules, fabricating, and testing them. LMSC performed three tasks which included thermal cycle testing for 2000 thermal cycles, thermal balance testing at the Boeing Environmental Test Lab in Kent, Washington, and acceptance testing a 15 ft x 50 in panel segment for 100 thermal cycles. The surperstrate modules performed well during both thermal cycle testing and thermal balance testing. The successful completion of these tests demonstrate the technical feasibility of a solar array power system utilizing superstrate technology. This final report describes the major elements of this contract including the manufacturing process used to fabricate modules, the tests performed, and the results and conclusions of the tests.

  10. Miniaturized radioisotope solid state power sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleurial, J.-P.; Snyder, G. J.; Patel, J.; Herman, J. A.; Caillat, T.; Nesmith, B.; Kolawa, E. A.

    2000-01-01

    Electrical power requirements for the next generation of deep space missions cover a wide range from the kilowatt to the milliwatt. Several of these missions call for the development of compact, low weight, long life, rugged power sources capable of delivering a few milliwatts up to a couple of watts while operating in harsh environments. Advanced solid state thermoelectric microdevices combined with radioisotope heat sources and energy storage devices such as capacitors are ideally suited for these applications. By making use of macroscopic film technology, microgenrators operating across relatively small temperature differences can be conceptualized for a variety of high heat flux or low heat flux heat source configurations. Moreover, by shrinking the size of the thermoelements and increasing their number to several thousands in a single structure, these devices can generate high voltages even at low power outputs that are more compatible with electronic components. Because the miniaturization of state-of-the-art thermoelectric module technology based on Bi2Te3 alloys is limited due to mechanical and manufacturing constraints, we are developing novel microdevices using integrated-circuit type fabrication processes, electrochemical deposition techniques and high thermal conductivity substrate materials. One power source concept is based on several thermoelectric microgenerator modules that are tightly integrated with a 1.1W Radioisotope Heater Unit. Such a system could deliver up to 50mW of electrical power in a small lightweight package of approximately 50 to 60g and 30cm3. An even higher degree of miniaturization and high specific power values (mW/mm3) can be obtained when considering the potential use of radioisotope materials for an alpha-voltaic or a hybrid thermoelectric/alpha-voltaic power source. Some of the technical challenges associated with these concepts are discussed in this paper. .

  11. Space Shuttle Upgrades Advanced Hydraulic Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Three Auxiliary Power Units (APU) on the Space Shuttle Orbiter each provide 145 hp shaft power to a hydraulic pump which outputs 3000 psi hydraulic fluid to 41 hydraulic actuators. A hydrazine fuel powered APU utilized throughout the Shuttle program has undergone many improvements, but concerns remain with flight safety, operational cost, critical failure modes, and hydrazine related hazards. The advanced hydraulic power system (AHPS), also known as the electric APU, is being evaluated as an upgrade to replace the hydrazine APU. The AHPS replaces the high-speed turbine and hydrazine fuel supply system with a battery power supply and electric motor/pump that converts 300 volt electrical power to 3000 psi hydraulic power. AHPS upgrade benefits include elimination of toxic hydrazine propellant to improve flight safety, reduction in hazardous ground processing operations, and improved reliability. Development of this upgrade provides many interesting challenges and includes development of four hardware elements that comprise the AHPS system: Battery - The battery provides a high voltage supply of power using lithium ion cells. This is a large battery that must provide 28 kilowatt hours of energy over 99 minutes of operation at 300 volts with a peak power of 130 kilowatts for three seconds. High Voltage Power Distribution and Control (PD&C) - The PD&C distributes electric power from the battery to the EHDU. This 300 volt system includes wiring and components necessary to distribute power and provide fault current protection. Electro-Hydraulic Drive Unit (EHDU) - The EHDU converts electric input power to hydraulic output power. The EHDU must provide over 90 kilowatts of stable, output hydraulic power at 3000 psi with high efficiency and rapid response time. Cooling System - The cooling system provides thermal control of the Orbiter hydraulic fluid and EHDU electronic components. Symposium presentation will provide an overview of the AHPS upgrade, descriptions of the four

  12. Naturally induced secondary radiation in interplanetary space: Preliminary analyses for gamma radiation and radioisotope production from thermal neutron activation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plaza-Rosado, Heriberto

    1991-01-01

    Thermal neutron activation analyses were carried out for various space systems components to determine gamma radiation dose rates and food radiation contamination levels. The space systems components selected were those for which previous radiation studies existed. These include manned space vehicle radiation shielding, liquid hydrogen propellant tanks for a Mars mission, and a food supply used as space vehicle radiation shielding. The computational method used is based on the fast neutron distribution generated by the BRYNTRN and HZETRN transport codes for Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) at solar minimum conditions and intense solar flares in space systems components. The gamma dose rates for soft tissue are calculated for water and aluminum space vehicle slab shields considering volumetric source self-attenuation and exponential buildup factors. In the case of the lunar habitat with regolith shielding, a completely exposed spherical habitat was assumed for mathematical convenience and conservative calculations. Activation analysis of the food supply used as radiation shielding is presented for four selected nutrients: potassium, calcium, sodium, and phosphorus. Radioactive isotopes that could represent a health hazard if ingested are identified and their concentrations are identified. For nutrients soluble in water, it was found that all induced radioactivity was below the accepted maximum permissible concentrations.

  13. Space Experiments to Advance Beamed Energy Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansen, Donald G.

    2010-05-01

    High power microwave sources are now available and usable, with modification, or beamed energy propulsion experiments in space. As output windows and vacuum seals are not needed space is a natural environment for high power vacuum tubes. Application to space therefore improves reliability and performance but complicates testing and qualification. Low power communications satellite devices (TWT, etc) have already been through the adapt-to-space design cycle and this history is a useful pathway for high power devices such as gyrotrons. In this paper, space experiments are described for low earth orbit (LEO) and lunar environment. These experiments are precursors to space application for beamed energy propulsion using high power microwaves. Power generation and storage using cryogenic systems are important elements of BEP systems and also have an important role as part of BEP experiments in the space environment.

  14. Advanced Mating System Development for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, James L.

    2004-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the development of space flight sealing and the work required for the further development of a dynamic interface seal for the use on space mating systems to support a fully androgynous mating interface. This effort has resulted in the advocacy of developing a standard multipurpose interface for use with all modern modular space architecture. This fully androgynous design means a seal-on-seal (SOS) system.

  15. High efficiency radioisotope thermophotovoltaic prototype generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Avery, James E.; Samaras, John E.; Fraas, Lewis M.; Ewell, Richard

    1995-01-01

    A radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator space power system (RTPV) is lightweight, low-cost alternative to the present radioisotope thermoelectric generator system (RTG). The fabrication of such an RTPV generator has recently become feasible as the result of the invention of the GaSb infrared sensitive photovoltaic cell. Herein, we present the results of a parametric study of emitters and optical filters in conjuction with existing data on gallium antimonide cells. We compare a polished tungsten emitter with an Erbia selective emitter for use in combination with a simple dielectric filter and a gallium antimonide cell array. We find that the polished tungsten emitter is by itself a very selective emitter with low emissivity beyond 4 microns. Given a gallium antimonide cell and a tungsten emitter, a simple dielectric filter can be designed to transmit radiant energy below 1.7 microns and to reflect radiant energy between 1.7 and 4 microns back to the emitter. Because of the low long wavelength emissivity associated with the polished tungsten emitter, this simple dielectric filter then yields very respectable system performance. Also as a result of the longer wavelength fall-off in the tungsten emissivity curve, the radiation energy peak for a polished tungsten emitter operating at 1300 K shifts to shorter wavelengths relative to the blackbody spectrum so that the radiated energy peak falls right at the gallium antimonide cell bandedge. The result is that the response of the gallium antimonide cell is well matched to a polished tungsten emitter. We propose, therefore, to fabricate an operating prototype of a near term radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator design consisting of a polished tungsten emitter, standard gallium antimonide cells, and a near-term dielectric filter. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory will design and build the thermal cavity, and JX Crystals will fabricate the gallium antimonide cells, dielectric filters, and resultant receiver panels. With

  16. High efficiency radioisotope thermophotovoltaic prototype generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avery, James E.; Samaras, John E.; Fraas, Lewis M.; Ewell, Richard

    1995-10-01

    A radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator space power system (RTPV) is lightweight, low-cost alternative to the present radioisotope thermoelectric generator system (RTG). The fabrication of such an RTPV generator has recently become feasible as the result of the invention of the GaSb infrared sensitive photovoltaic cell. Herein, we present the results of a parametric study of emitters and optical filters in conjuction with existing data on gallium antimonide cells. We compare a polished tungsten emitter with an Erbia selective emitter for use in combination with a simple dielectric filter and a gallium antimonide cell array. We find that the polished tungsten emitter is by itself a very selective emitter with low emissivity beyond 4 microns. Given a gallium antimonide cell and a tungsten emitter, a simple dielectric filter can be designed to transmit radiant energy below 1.7 microns and to reflect radiant energy between 1.7 and 4 microns back to the emitter. Because of the low long wavelength emissivity associated with the polished tungsten emitter, this simple dielectric filter then yields very respectable system performance. Also as a result of the longer wavelength fall-off in the tungsten emissivity curve, the radiation energy peak for a polished tungsten emitter operating at 1300 K shifts to shorter wavelengths relative to the blackbody spectrum so that the radiated energy peak falls right at the gallium antimonide cell bandedge. The result is that the response of the gallium antimonide cell is well matched to a polished tungsten emitter. We propose, therefore, to fabricate an operating prototype of a near term radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator design consisting of a polished tungsten emitter, standard gallium antimonide cells, and a near-term dielectric filter. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory will design and build the thermal cavity, and JX Crystals will fabricate the gallium antimonide cells, dielectric filters, and resultant receiver panels. With

  17. Development of Next Generation Segmented Thermoelectric Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleurial, J.; Caillat, T.; Ewell, R. C.

    2005-12-01

    Radioisotope thermoelectric generators have been used for space-based applications since 1961 with a total of 22 space missions that have successfully used RTGs for electrical power production. The key advantages of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) are their long life, robustness, compact size, and high reliability. Thermoelectric converters are easily scalable, and possess a linear current-voltage curve, making power generation easy to control via a shunt regulator and shunt radiator. They produce no noise, vibration or torque during operation. These properties have made RTGs ideally suitable for autonomous missions in the extreme environments of outer space and on planetary surfaces. More advanced radioisotope power systems (RPS) with higher specific power (W/kg) and/or power output are desirable for future NASA missions, including the Europa Geophysical Orbiter mission. For the past few years, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been developing more efficient thermoelectric materials and has demonstrated significant increases in the conversion efficiency of high temperature thermocouples, up to 14% when operated across a 975K to 300K temperature differential. In collaboration with NASA Glenn Research Center, universities (USC and UNM), Ceramic and Metal Composites Corporation and industrial partners, JPL is now planning to lead the research and development of advanced thermoelectric technology for integration into the next generations of RPS. Preliminary studies indicate that this technology has the potential for improving the RPS specific power by more than 50% over the current state-of-the-art multi-mission RTG being built for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. A second generation advanced RPS is projected at more than doubling the specific power.

  18. Advances in food systems for space flight.

    PubMed

    Bourland, C T

    1998-01-01

    Food for space has evolved from cubes and tubes to normal Earth-like food consumed with common utensils. U.S. space food systems have traditionally been based upon the water supply. When on-board water was abundant (e.g., Apollo and Shuttle fuel cells produced water) then dehydrated food was used extensively. The International Space Station will have limited water available for food rehydration so there is little advantage for using dehydrated foods. Experience from Skylab and the Russian Mir space station emphasizes that food variety and quality are important elements in the design of food for closed systems. The evolution of space food has accentuated Earth-like foods, which should be a model for closed environment food systems.

  19. Advanced Optical Technologies for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Natalie

    2007-01-01

    NASA Langley Research Center is involved in the development of photonic devices and systems for space exploration missions. Photonic technologies of particular interest are those that can be utilized for in-space communication, remote sensing, guidance navigation and control, lunar descent and landing, and rendezvous and docking. NASA Langley has recently established a class-100 clean-room which serves as a Photonics Fabrication Facility for development of prototype optoelectronic devices for aerospace applications. In this paper we discuss our design, fabrication, and testing of novel active pixels, deformable mirrors, and liquid crystal spatial light modulators. Successful implementation of these intelligent optical devices and systems in space, requires careful consideration of temperature and space radiation effects in inorganic and electronic materials. Applications including high bandwidth inertial reference units, lightweight, high precision star trackers for guidance, navigation, and control, deformable mirrors, wavefront sensing, and beam steering technologies are discussed. In addition, experimental results are presented which characterize their performance in space exploration systems.

  20. Advances in food systems for space flight.

    PubMed

    Bourland, C T

    1998-01-01

    Food for space has evolved from cubes and tubes to normal Earth-like food consumed with common utensils. U.S. space food systems have traditionally been based upon the water supply. When on-board water was abundant (e.g., Apollo and Shuttle fuel cells produced water) then dehydrated food was used extensively. The International Space Station will have limited water available for food rehydration so there is little advantage for using dehydrated foods. Experience from Skylab and the Russian Mir space station emphasizes that food variety and quality are important elements in the design of food for closed systems. The evolution of space food has accentuated Earth-like foods, which should be a model for closed environment food systems. PMID:11540467

  1. Space transfer vehicle avionics advanced development needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huffaker, C. F.

    1990-01-01

    The assessment of preliminary transportation program options for the exploration initiative is underway. The exploration initiative for the Moon and Mars is outlined by mission phases. A typical lunar/Mars outpost technology/advanced development schedule is provided. An aggressive and focused technology development program is needed as early as possible to successfully support these new initiatives. The avionics advanced development needs, plans, laboratory facilities, and benefits from an early start are described.

  2. Radioisotopes: Today's Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC. Nuclear Energy Office.

    Radioisotopes are useful because of their three unique characteristics: (1) radiation emission; (2) predictable radioactive lives; and (3) the same chemical properties as the nonradioactive atoms of that element. Researchers are able to "order" a radioisotope with the right radiation, half-life, and chemical property to perform a given task with…

  3. Advances in high energy astronomy from space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giacconi, R.

    1972-01-01

    Observational techniques, derived through space technology, and examples of what can be learned from X-ray observations of a few astronomical objects are given. Astronomical phenomena observed include the sun, stellar objects, and galactic objects.

  4. Feasibility Study of a Three-Stage Radioisotope-Powered Mars Ascent Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalpek, T. M.; Allen, R. E.; Guan, J. Y.; Rao, S. S.; Howe, S. D.

    Recent advancements in methods of housing radioisotopes at the Center for Space Nuclear Research have led to the concept of a radioisotope thermal rocket--a rocket powered by the accumulated heat of radioisotope decay. Heat energy from the decay can be accumulated over long periods of time in a material of high heat capacity to create a thermal capacitor. The capacitor can then be discharged at such a rate as to provide high power for short periods of time; in this case, the heat is transferred to a gas propellant. This paper explores the feasibility of using a radioisotope thermal rocket with in-situ atmospheric CO2 propellant to deliver a 10 kg payload from the Martian surface to a 200 km circular orbit about Mars. Models of heat transfer, gas dynamics, and ascent mechanics are constructed to test performance of different core materials and geometries. Of the configurations tested, the best simulation results fail to meet the altitude and velocity requirements by 12 km and 50 m/s respectively. The proximity to success indicates that the given models are capable of reaching orbital parameters if optimization algorithms and closed-loop guidance methods are employed. It is believed, however, that the current models underestimate expansion losses to the degree that if more realistic and computationally-intensive models are incorporated, the effect will definitively disprove the concept with currently available technology. Based on this preliminary research, radioisotope thermal rockets utilizing current technology are not capable of serving as Mars ascent vehicles.

  5. Advanced technology for America's future in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    In response to Recommendation 8 of the Augustine Committee Report, NASA's Office of Aeronautics, Exploration and Technology (OAET) developed a proposed 'Integrated Technology Plan for the Civil Space Program' that entails substantial changes in the processes, structure and the content of NASA's space research and technology program. The Space Systems and Technology Advisory Committee (SSTAC, a subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Committee) and several other senior, expert, informed advisory groups conducted a review of NASA's proposed Integrated Technology Plan (ITP). This review was in response to the specific request in Recommendation 8 that 'NASA utilize an expert, outside review process, managed from headquarters, to assist in the allocation of technology funds'. This document, the final report from that review, addresses: (1) summary recommendations; (2) mission needs; (3) the integrated technology plan; (4) summary reports of the technical panels; and (5) conclusions and observations.

  6. Advanced materials for space nuclear power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titran, Robert H.; Grobstein, Toni L.; Ellis, David L.

    1991-01-01

    The overall philosophy of the research was to develop and characterize new high temperature power conversion and radiator materials and to provide spacecraft designers with material selection options and design information. Research on three candidate materials (carbide strengthened niobium alloy PWC-11 for fuel cladding, graphite fiber reinforced copper matrix composites for heat rejection fins, and tungsten fiber reinforced niobium matrix composites for fuel containment and structural supports) considered for space power system applications is discussed. Each of these types of materials offers unique advantages for space power applications.

  7. Application of advanced technology to space automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schappell, R. T.; Polhemus, J. T.; Lowrie, J. W.; Hughes, C. A.; Stephens, J. R.; Chang, C. Y.

    1979-01-01

    Automated operations in space provide the key to optimized mission design and data acquisition at minimum cost for the future. The results of this study strongly accentuate this statement and should provide further incentive for immediate development of specific automtion technology as defined herein. Essential automation technology requirements were identified for future programs. The study was undertaken to address the future role of automation in the space program, the potential benefits to be derived, and the technology efforts that should be directed toward obtaining these benefits.

  8. Advanced materials for space nuclear power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titran, Robert H.; Grobstein, Toni L.; Ellis, David L.

    1991-01-01

    The overall philosophy of the research was to develop and characterize new high temperature power conversion and radiator materials and to provide spacecraft designers with material selection options and design information. Research on three candidate materials (carbide strengthened niobium alloy PWC-11 for fuel cladding, graphite fiber reinforced copper matrix composites for heat rejection fins, and tungsten fiber reinforced niobium matrix composites for fuel containment and structural supports considered for space power system applications is discussed. Each of these types of materials offers unique advantages for space power applications.

  9. Advanced automation for space missions: Technical summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Several representative missions which would require extensive applications of machine intelligence were identified and analyzed. The technologies which must be developed to accomplish these types of missions are discussed. These technologies include man-machine communication, space manufacturing, teleoperators, and robot systems.

  10. Advanced technologies for NASA space programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishen, Kumar

    1991-01-01

    A review of the technology requirements for future space programs is presented. The technologies are emphasized with a discussion of their mission impact. Attention is given to automation and robotics, materials, information acquisition/processing display, nano-electronics/technology, superconductivity, and energy generation and storage.

  11. Athena: Advanced air launched space booster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Booker, Corey G.; Ziemer, John; Plonka, John; Henderson, Scott; Copioli, Paul; Reese, Charles; Ullman, Christopher; Frank, Jeremy; Breslauer, Alan; Patonis, Hristos

    1994-01-01

    The infrastructure for routine, reliable, and inexpensive access of space is a goal that has been actively pursued over the past 50 years, but has yet not been realized. Current launch systems utilize ground launching facilities which require the booster vehicle to plow up through the dense lower atmosphere before reaching space. An air launched system on the other hand has the advantage of being launched from a carrier aircraft above this dense portion of the atmosphere and hence can be smaller and lighter compared to its ground based counterpart. The goal of last year's Aerospace Engineering Course 483 (AE 483) was to design a 227,272 kg (500,000 lb.) air launched space booster which would beat the customer's launch cost on existing launch vehicles by at least 50 percent. While the cost analysis conducted by the class showed that this goal could be met, the cost and size of the carrier aircraft make it appear dubious that any private company would be willing to invest in such a project. To avoid this potential pitfall, this year's AE 483 class was to design as large an air launched space booster as possible which can be launched from an existing or modification to an existing aircraft. An initial estimate of the weight of the booster is 136,363 kg (300,000 lb.) to 159,091 kg (350,000 lb.).

  12. Space data systems: Advanced flight computers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benz, Harry F.

    1991-01-01

    The technical objectives are to develop high-performance, space-qualifiable, onboard computing, storage, and networking technologies. The topics are presented in viewgraph form and include the following: technology challenges; state-of-the-art assessment; program description; relationship to external programs; and cooperation and coordination effort.

  13. Advanced space storable propellants for outer planet exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thunnissen, Daniel P.; Guernsey, Carl S.; Baker, Raymond S.; Miyake, Robert N.

    2004-01-01

    An evaluation of the feasibility and mission performance benefits of using advanced space storable propellants for outer planet exploration was performed. For the purpose of this study, space storable propellants are defined to be propellants which can be passively stored without the need for active cooling.

  14. Advanced Learning Space as an Asset for Students with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Císarová, Klára; Lamr, Marián; Vitvarová, Jana

    2015-01-01

    The paper describes an e-learning system called Advanced Learning Space that was developed at the Technical University of Liberec. The system provides a personalized virtual work space and promotes communication among students and their teachers. The core of the system is a module that can be used to automatically record, store and playback…

  15. Coated particle fuel for radioisotope power systems (RPSs) and radioisotope heater units (RHUs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sholtis, Joseph A.; Lipinski, Ronald J.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    1999-01-01

    Coated particle fuel offers great promise for advanced radioisotope power systems (RPSs) and radioisotope heater units (RHUs) being pursued for future U.S. solar system exploration missions. Potential benefits of this fuel include improved design flexibility and materials compatibility, enhanced safety and performance, and reduced specific mass and volume. This paper describes and discusses coated particle fuel, with emphasis on its applicability, attributes, and potential benefits to future RPSs and RHUs. Additionally, this paper identifies further analyses and verification testing that should be conducted before a commitment is made to fully develop this fuel. Efforts to date indicate there is every reason to believe that the potential benefits of coated particle fuel to future RPSs and RHUs can be demonstrated with a modest, phased analytical and verification test effort. Thus, developmental risk appears minimal, while the potential benefits are substantial. If coated particle fuel is pursued and ultimately developed successfully, it could revolutionize the design and space use of future RPSs and RHUs.

  16. Markets for reactor-produced non-fission radioisotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, R.G.

    1995-01-01

    Current market segments for reactor produced radioisotopes are developed and reported from a review of current literature. Specific radioisotopes studied in is report are the primarily selected from those with major medical or industrial markets, or those expected to have strongly emerging markets. Relative market sizes are indicated. Special emphasis is given to those radioisotopes that are best matched to production in high flux reactors such as the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory or the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A general bibliography of medical and industrial radioisotope applications, trends, and historical notes is included.

  17. Advanced Avionics and Processor Systems for Space and Lunar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keys, Andrew S.; Adams, James H.; Ray, Robert E.; Johnson, Michael A.; Cressler, John D.

    2009-01-01

    NASA's newly named Advanced Avionics and Processor Systems (AAPS) project, formerly known as the Radiation Hardened Electronics for Space Environments (RHESE) project, endeavors to mature and develop the avionic and processor technologies required to fulfill NASA's goals for future space and lunar exploration. Over the past year, multiple advancements have been made within each of the individual AAPS technology development tasks that will facilitate the success of the Constellation program elements. This paper provides a brief review of the project's recent technology advancements, discusses their application to Constellation projects, and addresses the project's plans for the coming year.

  18. Advanced Interconnect Roadmap for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galbraith, Lissa

    1999-01-01

    This paper presents the NASA electronic parts and packaging program for space applications. The topics include: 1) Forecasts; 2) Technology Challenges; 3) Research Directions; 4) Research Directions for Chip on Board (COB); 5) Research Directions for HDPs: Multichip Modules (MCMs); 6) Research Directions for Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS); 7) Research Directions for Photonics; and 8) Research Directions for Materials. This paper is presented in viewgraph form.

  19. Advances in Pharmacotherapeutics of Space Motion Sickness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Putcha, Lakshmi

    2006-01-01

    Space Motion Sickness (SMS) is common occurrence in the U.S. manned space flight program and nearly 2/3 of Shuttle crewmembers experience SMS. Several drugs have been prescribed for therapeutic management of SMS. Typically, orally-administered SMS medications (scopolamine, promethazine) have poor bioavailability and often have detrimental neurocognitive side effects at recommended doses. Intramuscularly administered promethazine (PMZ) is perceived to have optimal efficacy with minimal side effects in space. However, intramuscular injections are painful and the sedating neurocognitive side effects of promethazine, significant in controlled ground testing, may be masked in orbit because injections are usually given prior to crew sleep. Currently, EVAs cannot be performed by symptomatic crew or prior to flight day three due to the lack of a consistently efficacious drug, concern about neurocognitive side effects, and because an in-suit vomiting episode is potentially fatal. NASA has long sought a fast acting, consistently effective anti-motion sickness medication which has only minor neurocognitive side effects. Development of intranasal formulations of scopolamine and promethazine, the two commonly used SMS drugs at NASA for both space and reduced gravity environment medical operations, appears to be a logical alternative to current treatment modalities for SMS. The advantages are expected to be fast absorption, reliable and high bioavailability, and probably reduced neurocognitive side effects owing to dose reduction. Results from clinical trials with intranasal scopolamine gel formulation and pre-clinical testing of a prototype microcapsule intranasal gel dosage form of PMZ (INPMZ) will be discussed. These formulations are expected to offer a dependable and effective noninvasive treatment option for SMS.

  20. A survey of advanced battery systems for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Attia, Alan I.

    1989-01-01

    The results of a survey on advanced secondary battery systems for space applications are presented. Fifty-five battery experts from government, industry and universities participated in the survey by providing their opinions on the use of several battery types for six space missions, and their predictions of likely technological advances that would impact the development of these batteries. The results of the survey predict that only four battery types are likely to exceed a specific energy of 150 Wh/kg and meet the safety and reliability requirements for space applications within the next 15 years.

  1. Advances in space radiation shielding codes.

    PubMed

    Wilson, John W; Tripathi, Ram K; Qualls, Garry D; Cucinotta, Francis A; Prael, Richard E; Norbury, John W; Heinbockel, John H; Tweed, John; De Angelis, Giovanni

    2002-12-01

    Early space radiation shield code development relied on Monte Carlo methods and made important contributions to the space program. Monte Carlo methods have resorted to restricted one-dimensional problems leading to imperfect representation of appropriate boundary conditions. Even so, intensive computational requirements resulted and shield evaluation was made near the end of the design process. Resolving shielding issues usually had a negative impact on the design. Improved spacecraft shield design requires early entry of radiation constraints into the design process to maximize performance and minimize costs. As a result, we have been investigating high-speed computational procedures to allow shield analysis from the preliminary concept to the final design. For the last few decades, we have pursued deterministic solutions of the Boltzmann equation allowing field mapping within the International Space Station (ISS) in tens of minutes using standard Finite Element Method (FEM) geometry common to engineering design methods. A single ray trace in such geometry requires 14 milliseconds and limits application of Monte Carlo methods to such engineering models. A potential means of improving the Monte Carlo efficiency in coupling to spacecraft geometry is given.

  2. Cost estimating methods for advanced space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cyr, Kelley

    1994-01-01

    NASA is responsible for developing much of the nation's future space technology. Cost estimates for new programs are required early in the planning process so that decisions can be made accurately. Because of the long lead times required to develop space hardware, the cost estimates are frequently required 10 to 15 years before the program delivers hardware. The system design in conceptual phases of a program is usually only vaguely defined and the technology used is so often state-of-the-art or beyond. These factors combine to make cost estimating for conceptual programs very challenging. This paper describes an effort to develop parametric cost estimating methods for space systems in the conceptual design phase. The approach is to identify variables that drive cost such as weight, quantity, development culture, design inheritance and time. The nature of the relationships between the driver variables and cost will be discussed. In particular, the relationship between weight and cost will be examined in detail. A theoretical model of cost will be developed and tested statistically against a historical database of major research and development projects.

  3. Comparative values of advanced space solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slifer, L. W., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    A methodology for deriving a first order dollar value estimate for advanced solar cells which consists of defining scenarios for solar array production and launch to orbit and the associated costs for typical spacecraft, determining that portion affected by cell design and performance and determining the attributable cost differences is presented. Break even values are calculated for a variety of cells; confirming that efficiency and related effects of radiation resistance and temperature coefficient are major factors; array tare mass, packaging and packing factor are important; but cell mass is of lesser significance. Associated dollar values provide a means of comparison.

  4. RF Technologies for Advancing Space Communication Infrastructure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Romanofsky, Robert R.; Bibyk, Irene K.; Wintucky, Edwin G.

    2006-01-01

    This paper will address key technologies under development at the NASA Glenn Research Center designed to provide architecture-level impacts. Specifically, we will describe deployable antennas, a new type of phased array antenna and novel power amplifiers. The evaluation of architectural influence can be conducted from two perspectives where said architecture can be analyzed from either the top-down to determine the areas where technology improvements will be most beneficial or from the bottom-up where each technology s performance advancement can affect the overall architecture s performance. This paper will take the latter approach with focus on some technology improvement challenges and address architecture impacts. For example, using data rate as a performance metric, future exploration scenarios are expected to demand data rates possibly exceeding 1 Gbps. To support these advancements in a Mars scenario, as an example, Ka-band and antenna aperture sizes on the order of 10 meters will be required from Mars areostationary platforms. Key technical challenges for a large deployable antenna include maximizing the ratio of deployed-to-packaged volume, minimizing aerial density, maintaining RMS surface accuracy to within 1/20 of a wavelength or better, and developing reflector rigidization techniques. Moreover, the high frequencies and large apertures manifest a new problem for microwave engineers that are familiar to optical communications specialists: pointing. The fine beam widths and long ranges dictate the need for electronic or mechanical feed articulation to compensate for spacecraft attitude control limitations.

  5. Advanced high temperature thermoelectrics for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, A.; Ewell, R.; Wood, C.

    1981-01-01

    Preliminary results from a spacecraft system study show that an optimum hot junction temperature is in the range of 1500 K for advanced nuclear reactor technology combined with thermoelectric conversion. Advanced silicon germanium thermoelectric conversion is feasible if hot junction temperatures can be raised roughly 100 C or if gallium phosphide can be used to improve the figure of merit, but the performance is marginal. Two new classes of refractory materials, rare earth sulfides and boron-carbon alloys, are being investigated to improve the specific weight of the generator system. Preliminary data on the sulfides have shown very high figures of merit over short temperature ranges. Both n- and p-type doping have been obtained. Pure boron-carbide may extrapolate to high figure of merit at temperatures well above 1500 K but not lower temperature; n-type conduction has been reported by others, but not yet observed in the JPL program. Inadvertant impurity doping may explain the divergence of results reported.

  6. Technology advances for Space Shuttle processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiskerchen, M. J.; Mollakarimi, C. L.

    1988-01-01

    One of the major initial tasks of the Space Systems Integration and Operations Research Applications (SIORA) Program was the application of automation and robotics technology to all aspects of the Shuttle tile processing and inspection system. The SIORA Program selected a nonlinear systems engineering methodology which emphasizes a team approach for defining, developing, and evaluating new concepts and technologies for the operational system. This is achieved by utilizing rapid prototyping testbeds whereby the concepts and technologies can be iteratively tested and evaluated by the team. The present methodology has clear advantages for the design of large complex systems as well as for the upgrading and evolution of existing systems.

  7. Cost estimating methods for advanced space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cyr, Kelley

    1988-01-01

    Parametric cost estimating methods for space systems in the conceptual design phase are developed. The approach is to identify variables that drive cost such as weight, quantity, development culture, design inheritance, and time. The relationship between weight and cost is examined in detail. A theoretical model of cost is developed and tested statistically against a historical data base of major research and development programs. It is concluded that the technique presented is sound, but that it must be refined in order to produce acceptable cost estimates.

  8. Nuclear Power in Space.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC. Nuclear Energy Office.

    Research has shown that nuclear radioisotope power generators can supply compact, reliable, and efficient sources of energy for a broad range of space missions. These missions range from televising views of planetary surfaces to communicating scientific data to Earth. This publication presents many applications of the advancing technology and…

  9. Radioisotopic heat source

    DOEpatents

    Sayell, E.H.

    1973-10-23

    A radioisotopic heat source is described which includes a core of heat productive, radioisotopic material, an impact resistant layer of graphite surrounding said core, and a shell of iridium metal intermediate the core and the impact layer. The source may also include a compliant mat of iridium between the core and the iridium shell, as well as an outer covering of iridium metal about the entire heat source. (Official Gazette)

  10. Advanced space transportation system support contract

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The general focus is on a phase 2 lunar base, or a lunar base during the period after the first return of a crew to the Moon, but before permanent occupancy. The software effort produced a series of trajectory programs covering low earth orbit (LEO) to various node locations, the node locations to the lunar surface, and then back to LEO. The surface operations study took a lunar scenario in the civil needs data base (CNDB) and attempted to estimate the amount of space-suit work or extravehicular activity (EVA) required to set up the base. The maintenance and supply options study was a first look at the problems of supplying and maintaining the base. A lunar surface launch and landing facility was conceptually designed. The lunar storm shelter study examined the problems of radiation protection. The lunar surface construction and equipment assembly study defined twenty surface construction and assembly tasks in detail.

  11. Composites for Advanced Space Transportation Systems (CASTS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, J. G., Jr. (Compiler)

    1979-01-01

    A summary is given of the in-house and contract work accomplished under the CASTS Project. In July 1975 the CASTS Project was initiated to develop graphite fiber/polyimide matrix (GR/PI) composite structures with 589K (600 F) operational capability for application to aerospace vehicles. Major tasks include: (1) screening composites and adhesives, (2) developing fabrication procedures and specifications, (3) developing design allowables test methods and data, and (4) design and test of structural elements and construction of an aft body flap for the Space Shuttle Orbiter Vehicle which will be ground tested. Portions of the information are from ongoing research and must be considered preliminary. The CASTS Project is scheduled to be completed in September 1983.

  12. Advanced Metal Foam Structures for Outer Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanan, Jay; Johnson, William; Peker, Atakan

    2005-01-01

    A document discusses a proposal to use advanced materials especially bulk metallic glass (BMG) foams in structural components of spacecraft, lunar habitats, and the like. BMG foams, which are already used on Earth in some consumer products, are superior to conventional metal foams: BMG foams have exceptionally low mass densities and high strength-to-weight ratios and are more readily processable into strong, lightweight objects of various sizes and shapes. These and other attractive properties of BMG foams would be exploited, according to the proposal, to enable in situ processing of BMG foams for erecting and repairing panels, shells, containers, and other objects. The in situ processing could include (1) generation of BMG foams inside prefabricated deployable skins that would define the sizes and shapes of the objects thus formed and (2) thermoplastic deformation of BMG foams. Typically, the generation of BMG foams would involve mixtures of precursor chemicals that would be subjected to suitable pressure and temperature schedules. In addition to serving as structural components, objects containing or consisting of BMG foams could perform such functions as thermal management, shielding against radiation, and shielding against hypervelocity impacts of micrometeors and small debris particles.

  13. Advanced helium magnetometer for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slocum, Robert E.

    1987-01-01

    The goal of this effort was demonstration of the concepts for an advanced helium magnetometer which meets the demands of future NASA earth orbiting, interplanetary, solar, and interstellar missions. The technical effort focused on optical pumping of helium with tunable solid state lasers. We were able to demonstrate the concept of a laser pumped helium magnetometer with improved accuracy, low power, and sensitivity of the order of 1 pT. A number of technical approaches were investigated for building a solid state laser tunable to the helium absorption line at 1083 nm. The laser selected was an Nd-doped LNA crystal pumped by a diode laser. Two laboratory versions of the lanthanum neodymium hexa-aluminate (LNA) laser were fabricated and used to conduct optical pumping experiments in helium and demonstrate laser pumped magnetometer concepts for both the low field vector mode and the scalar mode of operation. A digital resonance spectrometer was designed and built in order to evaluate the helium resonance signals and observe scalar magnetometer operation. The results indicate that the laser pumped sensor in the VHM mode is 45 times more sensitive than a lamp pumped sensor for identical system noise levels. A study was made of typical laser pumped resonance signals in the conventional magnetic resonance mode. The laser pumped sensor was operated as a scalar magnetometer, and it is concluded that magnetometers with 1 pT sensitivity can be achieved with the use of laser pumping and stable laser pump sources.

  14. Advanced Space Suit Insulation Feasibility Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trevino, Luis A.; Orndoff, Evelyne S.

    2000-01-01

    For planetary applications, the space suit insulation has unique requirements because it must perform in a dynamic mode to protect humans in the harsh dust, pressure and temperature environments. Since the presence of a gaseous planetary atmosphere adds significant thermal conductance to the suit insulation, the current multi-layer flexible insulation designed for vacuum applications is not suitable in reduced pressure planetary environments such as that of Mars. Therefore a feasibility study has been conducted at NASA to identify the most promising insulation concepts that can be developed to provide an acceptable suit insulation. Insulation concepts surveyed include foams, microspheres, microfibers, and vacuum jackets. The feasibility study includes a literature survey of potential concepts, an evaluation of test results for initial insulation concepts, and a development philosophy to be pursued as a result of the initial testing and conceptual surveys. The recommended focus is on microfibers due to the versatility of fiber structure configurations, the wide choice of fiber materials available, the maturity of the fiber processing industry, and past experience with fibers in insulation applications

  15. Advancing differential atom interferometry for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiow, Sheng-Wey; Williams, Jason; Yu, Nan

    2016-05-01

    Atom interferometer (AI) based sensors exhibit precision and accuracy unattainable with classical sensors, thanks to the inherent stability of atomic properties. Dual atomic sensors operating in a differential mode further extend AI applicability beyond environmental disturbances. Extraction of the phase difference between dual AIs, however, typically introduces uncertainty and systematic in excess of that warranted by each AI's intrinsic noise characteristics, especially in practical applications and real time measurements. In this presentation, we report our efforts in developing practical schemes for reducing noises and enhancing sensitivities in the differential AI measurement implementations. We will describe an active phase extraction method that eliminates the noise overhead and demonstrates a performance boost of a gravity gradiometer by a factor of 3. We will also describe a new long-baseline approach for differential AI measurements in a laser ranging assisted AI configuration. The approach uses well-developed AIs for local measurements but leverage the mature schemes of space laser interferometry for LISA and GRACE. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a Contract with NASA.

  16. Development of an advanced photovoltaic concentrator system for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Piszczor, Michael F., Jr.; O'Neill, Mark J.

    1987-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that significant increases in system performance (increased efficiency and reduced system mass) are possible for high power space based systems by incorporating technological developments with photovoltaic power systems. The Advanced Photovoltaic Concentrator Program is an effort to take advantage of recent advancements in refractive optical elements. By using a domed Fresnel lens concentrator and a prismatic cell cover, to eliminate metallization losses, dramatic reductions in the required area and mass over current space photovoltaic systems are possible. The advanced concentrator concept also has significant advantages when compared to solar dynamic Organic Rankine Cycle power systems in Low Earth Orbit applications where energy storage is required. The program is currently involved in the selection of a material for the optical element that will survive the space environment and a demonstration of the system performance of the panel design.

  17. Nuclear power in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Written and verbal testimony presented before the House Subcommittee on Energy Research and Development is documented. Current research efforts related to space nuclear power are discussed including the SP-100 Space Reactor Program, development of radioisotope thermoelectric generators, and the Advanced Nuclear Systems Program. Funding, research and test facilities, specific space mission requirements, and the comparison of solar and nuclear power systems are addressed. Witnesses included representatives from DOD, NASA, DOE, universities, and private industry.

  18. Precipitation from Space: Advancing Earth System Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kucera, Paul A.; Ebert, Elizabeth E.; Turk, F. Joseph; Levizzani, Vicenzo; Kirschbaum, Dalia; Tapiador, Francisco J.; Loew, Alexander; Borsche, M.

    2012-01-01

    Of the three primary sources of spatially contiguous precipitation observations (surface networks, ground-based radar, and satellite-based radar/radiometers), only the last is a viable source over ocean and much of the Earth's land. As recently as 15 years ago, users needing quantitative detail of precipitation on anything under a monthly time scale relied upon products derived from geostationary satellite thermal infrared (IR) indices. The Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI) passive microwave (PMW) imagers originated in 1987 and continue today with the SSMI sounder (SSMIS) sensor. The fortunate longevity of the joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is providing the environmental science community a nearly unbroken data record (as of April 2012, over 14 years) of tropical and sub-tropical precipitation processes. TRMM was originally conceived in the mid-1980s as a climate mission with relatively modest goals, including monthly averaged precipitation. TRMM data were quickly exploited for model data assimilation and, beginning in 1999 with the availability of near real time data, for tropical cyclone warnings. To overcome the intermittently spaced revisit from these and other low Earth-orbiting satellites, many methods to merge PMW-based precipitation data and geostationary satellite observations have been developed, such as the TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Product and the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) morphing method (CMORPH. The purpose of this article is not to provide a survey or assessment of these and other satellite-based precipitation datasets, which are well summarized in several recent articles. Rather, the intent is to demonstrate how the availability and continuity of satellite-based precipitation data records is transforming the ways that scientific and societal issues related to precipitation are addressed, in ways that would not be

  19. Advanced Solid State Lighting for AES Deep Space Hab Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holbert, Eirik

    2015-01-01

    The advanced Solid State Lighting (SSL) assemblies augmented 2nd generation modules under development for the Advanced Exploration Systems Deep Space Habitat in using color therapy to synchronize crew circadian rhythms. Current RGB LED technology does not produce sufficient brightness to adequately address general lighting in addition to color therapy. The intent is to address both through a mix of white and RGB LEDs designing for fully addressable alertness/relaxation levels as well as more dramatic circadian shifts.

  20. Antiproton Trapping for Advanced Space Propulsion Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Gerald A.

    1998-01-01

    The Summary of Research parallels the Statement of Work (Appendix I) submitted with the proposal, and funded effective Feb. 1, 1997 for one year. A proposal was submitted to CERN in October, 1996 to carry out an experiment on the synthesis and study of fundamental properties of atomic antihydrogen. Since confined atomic antihydrogen is potentially the most powerful and elegant source of propulsion energy known, its confinement and properties are of great interest to the space propulsion community. Appendix II includes an article published in the technical magazine Compressed Air, June 1997, which describes CERN antiproton facilities, and ATHENA. During the period of this grant, Prof. Michael Holzscheiter served as spokesman for ATHENA and, in collaboration with Prof. Gerald Smith, worked on the development of the antiproton confinement trap, which is an important part of the ATHENA experiment. Appendix III includes a progress report submitted to CERN on March 12, 1997 concerning development of the ATHENA detector. Section 4.1 reviews technical responsibilities within the ATHENA collaboration, including the Antiproton System, headed by Prof. Holzscheiter. The collaboration was advised (see Appendix IV) on June 13, 1997 that the CERN Research Board had approved ATHENA for operation at the new Antiproton Decelerator (AD), presently under construction. First antiproton beams are expected to be delivered to experiments in about one year. Progress toward assembly of the ATHENA detector and initial testing expected in 1999 has been excellent. Appendix V includes a copy of the minutes of the most recently documented collaboration meeting held at CERN of October 24, 1997, which provides more information on development of systems, including the antiproton trapping apparatus. On February 10, 1998 Prof. Smith gave a 3 hour lecture on the Physics of Antimatter, as part of the Physics for the Third Millennium Lecture Series held at MSFC. Included in Appendix VI are notes and

  1. Heuristics Applied in the Development of Advanced Space Mission Concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nilsen, Erik N.

    1998-01-01

    Advanced mission studies are the first step in determining the feasibility of a given space exploration concept. A space scientist develops a science goal in the exploration of space. This may be a new observation method, a new instrument or a mission concept to explore a solar system body. In order to determine the feasibility of a deep space mission, a concept study is convened to determine the technology needs and estimated cost of performing that mission. Heuristics are one method of defining viable mission and systems architectures that can be assessed for technology readiness and cost. Developing a viable architecture depends to a large extent upon extending the existing body of knowledge, and applying it in new and novel ways. These heuristics have evolved over time to include methods for estimating technical complexity, technology development, cost modeling and mission risk in the unique context of deep space missions. This paper examines the processes involved in performing these advanced concepts studies, and analyzes the application of heuristics in the development of an advanced in-situ planetary mission. The Venus Surface Sample Return mission study provides a context for the examination of the heuristics applied in the development of the mission and systems architecture. This study is illustrative of the effort involved in the initial assessment of an advance mission concept, and the knowledge and tools that are applied.

  2. Advanced Engineering Environments for Space Transportation System Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, L. Dale; Smith, Charles A.; Beveridge, James

    2000-01-01

    There are significant challenges facing today's launch vehicle industry. Global competition, more complex products, geographically-distributed design teams, demands for lower cost, higher reliability and safer vehicles, and the need to incorporate the latest technologies quicker, all face the developer of a space transportation system. Within NASA, multiple technology development and demonstration projects are underway toward the objectives of safe, reliable, and affordable access to space. New information technologies offer promising opportunities to develop advanced engineering environments to meet these challenges. Significant advances in the state-of-the-art of aerospace engineering practice are envisioned in the areas of engineering design and analytical tools, cost and risk tools, collaborative engineering, and high-fidelity simulations early in the development cycle. At the Marshall Space Flight Center, work has begun on development of an advanced engineering environment specifically to support the design, modeling, and analysis of space transportation systems. This paper will give an overview of the challenges of developing space transportation systems in today's environment and subsequently discuss the advanced engineering environment and its anticipated benefits.

  3. Advanced technology for space communications, tracking, and robotic sensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishen, Kumar

    1989-01-01

    Technological advancements in tracking, communications, and robotic vision sensors are reviewed. The development of communications systems for multiple access, broadband, high data rate, and efficient operation is discussed. Consideration is given to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite systems, GPS, and communications and tracking systems for the Space Shuttle and the Space Station. The use of television, laser, and microwave sensors for robotics and technology for autonomous rendezvous and docking operations are examined.

  4. Nanomaterials for Advanced Life Support in Advanced Life Support in Space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allada, Rama Kumar; Moloney, Padraig; Yowell, Leonard

    2006-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation describing nanomaterial research at NASA Johnson Space Center with a focus on advanced life support in space systems is shown. The topics include: 1) Introduction; 2) Research and accomplishments in Carbon Dioxide Removal; 3) Research and Accomplishments in Water Purification; and 4) Next Steps

  5. Human life support for advanced space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartzkopf, S. H.

    1997-01-01

    The requirements for a human life support system for long-duration space missions are reviewed. The system design of a controlled ecological life support system is briefly described, followed by a more detailed account of the study of the conceptual design of a Lunar Based CELSS. The latter is to provide a safe, reliable, recycling lunar base life support system based on a hybrid physicochemical/biological representative technology. The most important conclusion reached by this study is that implementation of a completely recycling CELSS approach for a lunar base is not only feasible, but eminently practical. On a cumulative launch mass basis, a 4-person Lunar Base CELSS would pay for itself in approximately 2.6 years relative to a physicochemical air/water recycling system with resupply of food from the Earth. For crew sizes of 30 and 100, the breakeven point would come even sooner, after 2.1 and 1.7 years, respectively, due to the increased mass savings that can be realized with the larger plant growth units. Two other conclusions are particularly important with regard to the orientation of future research and technology development. First, the mass estimates of the Lunar Base CELSS indicate that a primary design objective in implementing this kind of system must be to minimized the mass and power requirement of the food production plant growth units, which greatly surpass those of the other air and water recycling systems. Consequently, substantial research must be directed at identifying ways to produce food more efficiently. On the other hand, detailed studies to identify the best technology options for the other subsystems should not be expected to produce dramatic reductions in either mass or power requirement of a Lunar Base CELSS. The most crucial evaluation criterion must, therefore, be the capability for functional integration of these technologies into the ultimate design of the system. Secondly, this study illustrates that existing or near

  6. Human life support for advanced space exploration.

    PubMed

    Schwartzkopf, S H

    1997-01-01

    The requirements for a human life support system for long-duration space missions are reviewed. The system design of a controlled ecological life support system is briefly described, followed by a more detailed account of the study of the conceptual design of a Lunar Based CELSS. The latter is to provide a safe, reliable, recycling lunar base life support system based on a hybrid physicochemical/biological representative technology. The most important conclusion reached by this study is that implementation of a completely recycling CELSS approach for a lunar base is not only feasible, but eminently practical. On a cumulative launch mass basis, a 4-person Lunar Base CELSS would pay for itself in approximately 2.6 years relative to a physicochemical air/water recycling system with resupply of food from the Earth. For crew sizes of 30 and 100, the breakeven point would come even sooner, after 2.1 and 1.7 years, respectively, due to the increased mass savings that can be realized with the larger plant growth units. Two other conclusions are particularly important with regard to the orientation of future research and technology development. First, the mass estimates of the Lunar Base CELSS indicate that a primary design objective in implementing this kind of system must be to minimized the mass and power requirement of the food production plant growth units, which greatly surpass those of the other air and water recycling systems. Consequently, substantial research must be directed at identifying ways to produce food more efficiently. On the other hand, detailed studies to identify the best technology options for the other subsystems should not be expected to produce dramatic reductions in either mass or power requirement of a Lunar Base CELSS. The most crucial evaluation criterion must, therefore, be the capability for functional integration of these technologies into the ultimate design of the system. Secondly, this study illustrates that existing or near

  7. Human life support for advanced space exploration.

    PubMed

    Schwartzkopf, S H

    1997-01-01

    The requirements for a human life support system for long-duration space missions are reviewed. The system design of a controlled ecological life support system is briefly described, followed by a more detailed account of the study of the conceptual design of a Lunar Based CELSS. The latter is to provide a safe, reliable, recycling lunar base life support system based on a hybrid physicochemical/biological representative technology. The most important conclusion reached by this study is that implementation of a completely recycling CELSS approach for a lunar base is not only feasible, but eminently practical. On a cumulative launch mass basis, a 4-person Lunar Base CELSS would pay for itself in approximately 2.6 years relative to a physicochemical air/water recycling system with resupply of food from the Earth. For crew sizes of 30 and 100, the breakeven point would come even sooner, after 2.1 and 1.7 years, respectively, due to the increased mass savings that can be realized with the larger plant growth units. Two other conclusions are particularly important with regard to the orientation of future research and technology development. First, the mass estimates of the Lunar Base CELSS indicate that a primary design objective in implementing this kind of system must be to minimized the mass and power requirement of the food production plant growth units, which greatly surpass those of the other air and water recycling systems. Consequently, substantial research must be directed at identifying ways to produce food more efficiently. On the other hand, detailed studies to identify the best technology options for the other subsystems should not be expected to produce dramatic reductions in either mass or power requirement of a Lunar Base CELSS. The most crucial evaluation criterion must, therefore, be the capability for functional integration of these technologies into the ultimate design of the system. Secondly, this study illustrates that existing or near

  8. Propulsion technology needs for advanced space transportation systems. [orbit maneuvering engine (space shuttle), space shuttle boosters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregory, J. W.

    1975-01-01

    Plans are formulated for chemical propulsion technology programs to meet the needs of advanced space transportation systems from 1980 to the year 2000. The many possible vehicle applications are reviewed and cataloged to isolate the common threads of primary propulsion technology that satisfies near term requirements in the first decade and at the same time establish the technology groundwork for various potential far term applications in the second decade. Thrust classes of primary propulsion engines that are apparent include: (1) 5,000 to 30,000 pounds thrust for upper stages and space maneuvering; and (2) large booster engines of over 250,000 pounds thrust. Major classes of propulsion systems and the important subdivisions of each class are identified. The relative importance of each class is discussed in terms of the number of potential applications, the likelihood of that application materializing, and the criticality of the technology needed. Specific technology programs are described and scheduled to fulfill the anticipated primary propulsion technology requirements.

  9. NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems Program Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudzinski, Leonard A.; Hamley, John A.; McCallum, Peter W.; Sutliff, Thomas J.; Zakrajsek, June F.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program began formal implementation in December 2010. The RPS Program's goal is to make available RPS for the exploration of the solar system in environments where conventional solar or chemical power generation is impractical or impossible to meet mission needs. To meet this goal, the RPS Program manages investments in RPS system development and RPS technologies. The current keystone of the RPS Program is the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). This generator will be about four times more efficient than the more traditional thermoelectric generators, while providing a similar amount of power. This paper provides the status of the RPS Program and its related projects. Opportunities for RPS generator development and targeted research into RPS component performance enhancements, as well as constraints dealing with the supply of radioisotope fuel, are also discussed in the context of the next ten years of planetary science mission plans.

  10. A Simple Model for Radioisotope Power System Performance in the Titan Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, R. D.

    Like other energy conversion devices, the performance of Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs) for spacecraft depend on the heat transfer boundary conditions. In planetary environments, the heat transfer, and thus the RPS operating conditions and performance may be different from those in free space. In particular, we develop a simple model (based on an endoreversible heat engine with a specified heat sink) for the performance of an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) in the dense, cold atmosphere of Titan. We find the power output of an ideal RPS in the Titan environment could be considerably superior to that in space vacuum, although an internal heat leak of the present ASRG design may somewhat compromise this improvement, resulting in an output close to, or up to 15% smaller than, predicted vacuum output. Since the model suggests significant variation due to two competing effects, performance testing in representative conditions is urgently recommended.

  11. The Economics of Advanced In-Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bangalore, Manju; Dankanich, John

    2016-01-01

    The cost of access to space is the single biggest driver is commercial space sector. NASA continues to invest in both launch technology and in-space propulsion. Low-cost launch systems combined with advanced in-space propulsion offer the greatest potential market capture. Launch market capture is critical to national security and has a significant impact on domestic space sector revenue. NASA typically focuses on pushing the limits on performance. However, the commercial market is driven by maximum net revenue (profits). In order to maximum the infusion of NASA investments, the impact on net revenue must be known. As demonstrated by Boeing's dual launch, the Falcon 9 combined with all Electric Propulsion (EP) can dramatically shift the launch market from foreign to domestic providers.

  12. Materials and light thermal structures research for advanced space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thornton, Earl A.; Starke, Edgar A., Jr.; Herakovich, Carl T.

    1991-01-01

    The Light Thermal Structures Center at the University of Virginia sponsors educational and research programs focused on the development of reliable, lightweight structures to function in hostile thermal environments. Technology advances in materials and design methodology for light thermal structures will contribute to improved space vehicle design concepts with attendant weight savings. This paper highlights current research activities in three areas relevant to space exploration: low density, high temperature aluminum alloys, composite materials, and structures with thermal gradients. Advances in the development of new aluminum-lithium alloys and mechanically alloyed aluminum alloys are described. Material properties and design features of advanced composites are highlighted. Research studies in thermal structures with temperature gradients include inelastic panel buckling and thermally induced unstable oscillations. Current and future research is focused on the integration of new materials with applications to structural components with thermal gradients.

  13. Space Launch System Advanced Development Office, FY 2013 Annual Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumbly, C. M.; Bickley, F. P.; Hueter, U.

    2013-01-01

    The Advanced Development Office (ADO), part of the Space Launch System (SLS) program, provides SLS with the advanced development needed to evolve the vehicle from an initial Block 1 payload capability of 70 metric tons (t) to an eventual capability Block 2 of 130 t, with intermediary evolution options possible. ADO takes existing technologies and matures them to the point that insertion into the mainline program minimizes risk. The ADO portfolio of tasks covers a broad range of technical developmental activities. The ADO portfolio supports the development of advanced boosters, upper stages, and other advanced development activities benefiting the SLS program. A total of 34 separate tasks were funded by ADO in FY 2013.

  14. Cyclotron Production of Medical Radioisotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Avila-Rodriguez, M. A.; Zarate-Morales, A.; Flores-Moreno, A.

    2010-08-04

    The cyclotron production of radioisotopes for medical applications is gaining increased significance in diagnostic molecular imaging techniques such as PET and SPECT. In this regard, radioisotope production has never been easier or more convenient until de introduction of compact medical cyclotrons in the last few decades, which allowed the use of short-lived radioisotopes in in vivo nuclear medicine studies on a routine basis. This review outlines some general considerations about the production of radioisotopes using charged particle accelerators.

  15. A survey of advanced battery systems for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Attia, Alan I.

    1989-01-01

    The results of a survey on advanced secondary battery systems for space applications are presented. The objectives were: to identify advanced battery systems capable of meeting the requirements of various types of space missions, with significant advantages over currently available batteries, to obtain an accurate estimate of the anticipated improvements of these advanced systems, and to obtain a consensus for the selection of systems most likely to yield the desired improvements. Few advanced systems are likely to exceed a specific energy of 150 Wh/kg and meet the additional requirements of safety and reliability within the next 15 years. The few that have this potential are: (1) regenerative fuel cells, both alkaline and solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) types for large power systems; (2) lithium-intercalatable cathodes, particularly the metal ozides intercalatable cathodes (MnO2 or CoO2), with applications limited to small spacecrafts requiring limited cycle life and low power levels; (3) lithium molten salt systems (e.g., LiAl-FeS2); and (4) Na/beta Alumina/Sulfur or metal chlorides cells. Likely technological advances that would enhance the performance of all the above systems are also identified, in particular: improved bifunctional oxygen electrodes; improved manufacturing technology for thin film lithium electrodes in combination with polymeric electrolytes; improved seals for the lithium molten salt cells; and improved ceramics for sodium/solid electrolyte cells.

  16. An overview of DARPA's advanced space technology program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicastri, E.; Dodd, J.

    1993-02-01

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the central research and development organization of the DoD and, as such, has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of U.S. technological superiority over potential adversaries. DARPA's programs focus on technology development and proof-of-concept demonstrations of both evolutionary and revolutionary approaches for improved strategic, conventional, rapid deployment and sea power forces, and on the scientific investigation into advanced basic technologies of the future. DARPA can move quickly to exploit new ideas and concepts by working directly with industry and universities. For four years, DARPA's Advanced Space Technology Program (ASTP) has addressed various ways to improve the performance of small satellites and launch vehicles. The advanced technologies that are being and will be developed by DARPA for small satellites can be used just as easily on large satellites. The primary objective of the ASTP is to enhance support to operational commanders by developing and applying advanced technologies that will provide cost-effective, timely, flexible, and responsive space systems. Fundamental to the ASTP effort is finding new ways to do business with the goal of quickly inserting new technologies into DoD space systems while reducing cost. In our view, these methods are prime examples of what may be termed 'technology leveraging.' The ASTP has initiated over 50 technology projects, many of which were completed and transitioned to users. The objectives are to quickly qualify these higher risk technologies for use on future programs and reduce the risk of inserting these technologies into major systems, and to provide the miniaturized systems that would enable smaller satellites to have significant - rather than limited - capability. Only a few of the advanced technologies are described, the majority of which are applicable to both large and small satellites.

  17. Expert systems and advanced automation for space missions operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durrani, Sajjad H.; Perkins, Dorothy C.; Carlton, P. Douglas

    1990-01-01

    Increased complexity of space missions during the 1980s led to the introduction of expert systems and advanced automation techniques in mission operations. This paper describes several technologies in operational use or under development at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center. Several expert systems are described that diagnose faults, analyze spacecraft operations and onboard subsystem performance (in conjunction with neural networks), and perform data quality and data accounting functions. The design of customized user interfaces is discussed, with examples of their application to space missions. Displays, which allow mission operators to see the spacecraft position, orientation, and configuration under a variety of operating conditions, are described. Automated systems for scheduling are discussed, and a testbed that allows tests and demonstrations of the associated architectures, interface protocols, and operations concepts is described. Lessons learned are summarized.

  18. Radioisotopic heat source

    DOEpatents

    Jones, G.J.; Selle, J.E.; Teaney, P.E.

    1975-09-30

    Disclosed is a radioisotopic heat source and method for a long life electrical generator. The source includes plutonium dioxide shards and yttrium or hafnium in a container of tantalum-tungsten-hafnium alloy, all being in a nickel alloy outer container, and subjected to heat treatment of from about 1570$sup 0$F to about 1720$sup 0$F for about one h. (auth)

  19. Invited review article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research.

    PubMed

    De Vos, Winnok H; Beghuin, Didier; Schwarz, Christian J; Jones, David B; van Loon, Jack J W A; Bereiter-Hahn, Juergen; Stelzer, Ernst H K

    2014-10-01

    As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy. PMID:25362364

  20. Invited Review Article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research

    SciTech Connect

    De Vos, Winnok H.; Beghuin, Didier; Schwarz, Christian J.; Jones, David B.; Loon, Jack J. W. A. van

    2014-10-15

    As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy.

  1. Invited review article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research.

    PubMed

    De Vos, Winnok H; Beghuin, Didier; Schwarz, Christian J; Jones, David B; van Loon, Jack J W A; Bereiter-Hahn, Juergen; Stelzer, Ernst H K

    2014-10-01

    As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy.

  2. Invited Review Article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Vos, Winnok H.; Beghuin, Didier; Schwarz, Christian J.; Jones, David B.; van Loon, Jack J. W. A.; Bereiter-Hahn, Juergen; Stelzer, Ernst H. K.

    2014-10-01

    As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy.

  3. Advanced Fuels Can Reduce the Cost of Getting Into Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    1998-01-01

    Rocket propellant and propulsion technology improvements can reduce the development time and operational costs of new space vehicle programs, and advanced propellant technologies can make space vehicles safer and easier to operate, and can improve their performance. Five major areas have been identified for fruitful research: monopropellants, alternative hydrocarbons, gelled hydrogen, metallized gelled propellants, and high-energy-density propellants. During the development of the NASA Advanced Space Transportation Plan, these technologies were identified as those most likely to be effective for new NASA vehicles. Several NASA research programs had fostered work in fuels under the topic Fuels and Space Propellants for Reusable Launch Vehicles in 1996 to 1997. One component of this topic was to promote the development and commercialization of monopropellant rocket fuels, hypersonic fuels, and high-energy-density propellants. This research resulted in the teaming of small business with large industries, universities, and Government laboratories. This work is ongoing with seven contractors. The commercial products from these contracts will bolster advanced propellant research. Work also is continuing under other programs, which were recently realigned under the "Three Pillars" of NASA: Global Civil Aviation, Revolutionary Technology Leaps, and Access to Space. One of the five areas is described below, and its applications and effect on future missions is discussed. This work is being conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center with the assistance of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The regenerative cooling of spacecraft engines and other components can improve overall vehicle performance. Endothermic fuels can absorb energy from an engine nozzle and chamber and help to vaporize high-density fuel before it enters the combustion chamber. For supersonic and hypersonic aircraft, endothermic fuels can absorb the high heat fluxes created on the wing leading edges and

  4. Commercial Superconducting Electron Linac for Radioisotope Production

    SciTech Connect

    Grimm, Terry Lee; Boulware, Charles H.; Hollister, Jerry L.; Jecks, Randall W.; Mamtimin, Mayir; Starovoitova, Valeriia

    2015-08-13

    The majority of radioisotopes used in the United States today come from foreign suppliers or are generated parasitically in large government accelerators and nuclear reactors. Both of these restrictions limit the availability of radioisotopes and discourage the development and evaluation of new isotopes and for nuclear medicine, science, and industry. Numerous studies have been recommending development of dedicated accelerators for production of radioisotopes for over 20 years (Institute of Medicine, 1995; Reba, et al, 2000; National Research Council, 2007; NSAC 2009). The 2015 NSAC Long Range Plan for Isotopes again identified electron accelerators as an area for continued research and development. Recommendation 1(c) from the 2015 NSAC Isotope report specifically identifies electron accelerators for continued funding for the purpose of producing medical and industrial radioisotopes. Recognizing the pressing need for new production methods of radioisotopes, the United States Congress passed the American Medical Isotope Production Act of 2012 to develop a domestic production of 99Mo and to eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in the production of 99Mo. One of the advantages of high power electron linear accelerators (linacs) is they can create both proton- and neutron-rich isotopes by generating high energy x-rays that knock out protons or neutrons from stable atoms or by fission of uranium. This allows for production of isotopes not possible in nuclear reactors. Recent advances in superconducting electron linacs have decreased the size and complexity of these systems such that they are economically competitive with nuclear reactors and large, high energy accelerators. Niowave, Inc. has been developing a radioisotope production facility based on a superconducting electron linac with liquid metal converters.

  5. Benefits of advanced space suits for supporting routine extravehicular activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alton, L. R.; Bauer, E. H.; Patrick, J. W.

    1975-01-01

    Technology is available to produce space suits providing a quick-reaction, safe, much more mobile extravehicular activity (EVA) capability than before. Such a capability may be needed during the shuttle era because the great variety of missions and payloads complicates the development of totally automated methods of conducting operations and maintenance and resolving contingencies. Routine EVA now promises to become a cost-effective tool as less complex, serviceable, lower-cost payload designs utilizing this capability become feasible. Adoption of certain advanced space suit technologies is encouraged for reasons of economics as well as performance.

  6. Advanced Water Recovery Technologies for Long Duration Space Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Scan X.

    2005-01-01

    Extended-duration space travel and habitation require recovering water from wastewater generated in spacecrafts and extraterrestrial outposts since the largest consumable for human life support is water. Many wastewater treatment technologies used for terrestrial applications are adoptable to extraterrestrial situations but challenges remain as constraints of space flights and habitation impose severe limitations of these technologies. Membrane-based technologies, particularly membrane filtration, have been widely studied by NASA and NASA-funded research groups for possible applications in space wastewater treatment. The advantages of membrane filtration are apparent: it is energy-efficient and compact, needs little consumable other than replacement membranes and cleaning agents, and doesn't involve multiphase flow, which is big plus for operations under microgravity environment. However, membrane lifespan and performance are affected by the phenomena of concentration polarization and membrane fouling. This article attempts to survey current status of membrane technologies related to wastewater treatment and desalination in the context of space exploration and quantify them in terms of readiness level for space exploration. This paper also makes specific recommendations and predictions on how scientist and engineers involving designing, testing, and developing space-certified membrane-based advanced water recovery technologies can improve the likelihood of successful development of an effective regenerative human life support system for long-duration space missions.

  7. Advanced actuators for the control of large space structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Downer, James; Hockney, Richard; Johnson, Bruce; Misovec, Kathleen

    1993-01-01

    The objective of this research was to develop advanced six-degree-of-freedom actuators employing magnetic suspensions suitable for the control of structural vibrations in large space structures. The advanced actuators consist of a magnetically suspended mass that has three-degrees-of-freedom in both translation and rotation. The most promising of these actuators featured a rotating suspended mass providing structural control torques in a manner similar to a control moment gyro (CMG). These actuators employ large-angle-magnetic suspensions that allow gimballing of the suspended mass without mechanical gimbals. Design definitions and sizing algorithms for these CMG type as well as angular reaction mass actuators based on multi-degree-of-freedom magnetic suspensions were developed. The performance of these actuators was analytically compared with conventional reaction mass actuators for a simple space structure model.

  8. Space station experiment definition: Advanced power system test bed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollard, H. E.; Neff, R. E.

    1986-01-01

    A conceptual design for an advanced photovoltaic power system test bed was provided and the requirements for advanced photovoltaic power system experiments better defined. Results of this study will be used in the design efforts conducted in phase B and phase C/D of the space station program so that the test bed capabilities will be responsive to user needs. Critical PV and energy storage technologies were identified and inputs were received from the idustry (government and commercial, U.S. and international) which identified experimental requirements. These inputs were used to develop a number of different conceptual designs. Pros and cons of each were discussed and a strawman candidate identified. A preliminary evolutionary plan, which included necessary precursor activities, was established and cost estimates presented which would allow for a successful implementation to the space station in the 1994 time frame.

  9. Monolithic microwave integrated circuit technology for advanced space communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponchak, George E.; Romanofsky, Robert R.

    1988-01-01

    Future Space Communications subsystems will utilize GaAs Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMIC's) to reduce volume, weight, and cost and to enhance system reliability. Recent advances in GaAs MMIC technology have led to high-performance devices which show promise for insertion into these next generation systems. The status and development of a number of these devices operating from Ku through Ka band will be discussed along with anticipated potential applications.

  10. Advanced regenerative-cooling techniques for future space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, W. R.; Shoji, J. M.

    1975-01-01

    A review of regenerative-cooling techniques applicable to advanced planned engine designs for space booster and orbit transportation systems has developed the status of the key elements of this cooling mode. This work is presented in terms of gas side, coolant side, wall conduction heat transfer, and chamber life fatigue margin considerations. Described are preliminary heat transfer and trade analyses performed using developed techniques combining channel wall construction with advanced, high-strength, high-thermal-conductivity materials (NARloy-Z or Zr-Cu alloys) in high heat flux regions, combined with lightweight steel tubular nozzle wall construction. Advanced cooling techniques such as oxygen cooling and dual-mode hydrocarbon/hydrogen fuel operation and their limitations are indicated for the regenerative cooling approach.

  11. Shielding considerations for advanced space nuclear reactor systems

    SciTech Connect

    Angelo, J.P. Jr.; Buden, D.

    1982-01-01

    To meet the anticipated future space power needs, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing components for a compact, 100 kW/sub e/-class heat pipe nuclear reactor. The reactor uses uranium dioxide (UO/sub 2/) as its fuel, and is designed to operate around 1500 k. Heat pipes are used to remove thermal energy from the core without the use of pumps or compressors. The reactor heat pipes transfer mal energy to thermoelectric conversion elements that are advanced versions of the converters used on the enormously successful Voyager missions to the outer planets. Advanced versions of this heat pipe reactor could also be used to provide megawatt-level power plants. The paper reviews the status of this advanced heat pipe reactor and explores the radiation environments and shielding requirements for representative manned and unmanned applications.

  12. NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems - Plans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamley, John A.; Mccallum, Peter W.; Sandifer, Carl E., II; Sutliff, Thomas J.; Zakrajsek, June F.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program continues to plan and implement content to enable planetary exploration where such systems could be needed, and to prepare more advanced RPS technology for possible infusion into future power systems. The 2014-2015 period saw significant changes, and strong progress. Achievements of near-term objectives have enabled definition of a clear path forward in which payoffs from research investments and other sustaining efforts can be applied. The future implementation path is expected to yield a higher-performing thermoelectric generator design, a more isotope-fuel efficient system concept design, and a robust RPS infrastructure maintained effectively within both NASA and the Department of Energy. This paper describes recent work with an eye towards the future plans that result from these achievements.

  13. Atmosphere composition monitor for space station and advanced missions application

    SciTech Connect

    Wynveen, R.A.; Powell, F.T.

    1987-01-01

    Long-term human occupation of extraterrestrial locations may soon become a reality. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently completed the definition and preliminary design of the low earth orbit (LEO) space station. They are now currently moving into the detailed design and fabrication phase of this space station and are also beginning to analyze the requirements of several future missions that have been identified. These missions include, for example, Lunar and Mars sorties, outposts, bases, and settlements. A requirement of both the LEO space station and future missions are environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS), which provide a comfortable environment for humans to live and work. The ECLSS consists of several major systems, including atmosphere revitalization system (ARS), atmosphere pressure and composition control system, temperature and humidity control system, water reclamation system, and waste management system. Each of these major systems is broken down into subsystems, assemblies, units, and instruments. Many requirements and design drivers are different for the ECLSS of the LEO space station and the identified advanced missions (e.g., longer mission duration). This paper discusses one of the ARS assemblies, the atmosphere composition monitor assembly (ACMA), being developed for the LEO space station and addresses differences that will exist for the ACMA of future missions.

  14. Advanced-to-Revolutionary Space Technology Options - The Responsibly Imaginable

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bushnell, Dennis M.

    2013-01-01

    Paper summarizes a spectrum of low TRL, high risk technologies and systems approaches which could massively change the cost and safety of space exploration/exploitation/industrialization. These technologies and approaches could be studied in a triage fashion, the method of evaluation wherein several prospective solutions are investigated in parallel to address the innate risk of each, with resources concentrated on the more successful as more is learned. Technology areas addressed include Fabrication, Materials, Energetics, Communications, Propulsion, Radiation Protection, ISRU and LEO access. Overall and conceptually it should be possible with serious research to enable human space exploration beyond LEO both safe and affordable with a design process having sizable positive margins. Revolutionary goals require, generally, revolutionary technologies. By far, Revolutionary Energetics is the most important, has the most leverage, of any advanced technology for space exploration applications.

  15. Advanced Microbial Check Valve development. [for Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombo, G. V.; Greenley, D. R.; Putnam, D. F.; Sauer, R. L.

    1981-01-01

    The Microbial Check Valve (MCV) is a flight qualified assembly that provides bacteriologically safe drinking water for the Space Shuttle. The 1-lb unit is basically a canister packed with an iodinated ion-exchange resin. The device is used to destroy organisms in a water stream as the water passes through it. It is equally effective for fluid flow in either direction and its primary method of disinfection is killing rather than filtering. The MCV was developed to disinfect the fuel cell water and to prevent back contamination of stored potable water on the Space Shuttle. This paper reports its potential for space applications beyond the basic Shuttle mission. Data are presented that indicate the MCV is suitable for use in advanced systems that NASA has under development for the reclamation of humidity condensate, wash water and human urine.

  16. Advanced protein crystal growth flight hardware for the Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrmann, Frederick T.

    1988-01-01

    The operational environment of the Space Station will differ considerably from the previous short term missions such as the Spacelabs. Limited crew availability combined with the near continuous operation of Space Station facilities will require a high degree of facility automation. This paper will discuss current efforts to develop automated flight hardware for advanced protein crystal growth on the Space Station. Particular areas discussed will be the automated monitoring of key growth parameters for vapor diffusion growth and proposed mechanisms for control of these parameters. A history of protein crystal growth efforts will be presented in addition to the rationale and need for improved protein crystals for X-ray diffraction. The facility will be capable of simultaneously processing several hundred protein samples at various temperatures, pH's, concentrations etc., and provide allowances for real time variance of growth parameters.

  17. Advances in space technology: the NSBRI Technology Development Team

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maurer, R. H.; Charles, H. K. Jr; Pisacane, V. L.

    2002-01-01

    As evidenced from Mir and other long-duration space missions, the space environment can cause significant alterations in the human physiology that could prove dangerous for astronauts. The NASA programme to develop countermeasures for these deleterious human health effects is being carried out by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). The NSBRI has 12 research teams, ten of which are primarily physiology based, one addresses on-board medical care, and the twelfth focuses on technology development in support of the other research teams. This Technology Development (TD) Team initially supported four instrumentation developments: (1) an advanced, multiple projection, dual energy X ray absorptiometry (AMPDXA) scanning system: (2) a portable neutron spectrometer; (3) a miniature time-of-flight mass spectrometer: and (4) a cardiovascular identification system. Technical highlights of the original projects are presented along with an introduction to the five new TD Team projects being funded by the NSBRI.

  18. Advancing Space Weather Modeling Capabilities at the CCMC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mays, M. Leila; Kuznetsova, Maria; Boblitt, Justin; Chulaki, Anna; MacNeice, Peter; Mendoza, Michelle; Mullinix, Richard; Pembroke, Asher; Pulkkinen, Antti; Rastaetter, Lutz; Shim, Ja Soon; Taktakishvili, Aleksandre; Wiegand, Chiu; Zheng, Yihua

    2016-04-01

    The Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC, http://ccmc.gsfc.nasa.gov) serves as a community access point to an expanding collection of state-of-the-art space environment models and as a hub for collaborative development on next generation of space weather forecasting systems. In partnership with model developers and the international research and operational communities, the CCMC integrates new data streams and models from diverse sources into end-to-end space weather predictive systems, identifies weak links in data-model & model-model coupling and leads community efforts to fill those gaps. The presentation will focus on the latest model installations at the CCMC and advances in CCMC-led community-wide model validation projects.

  19. Design of Test Support Hardware for Advanced Space Suits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watters, Jeffrey A.; Rhodes, Richard

    2013-01-01

    As a member of the Space Suit Assembly Development Engineering Team, I designed and built test equipment systems to support the development of the next generation of advanced space suits. During space suit testing it is critical to supply the subject with two functions: (1) cooling to remove metabolic heat, and (2) breathing air to pressurize the space suit. The objective of my first project was to design, build, and certify an improved Space Suit Cooling System for manned testing in a 1-G environment. This design had to be portable and supply a minimum cooling rate of 2500 BTU/hr. The Space Suit Cooling System is a robust, portable system that supports very high metabolic rates. It has a highly adjustable cool rate and is equipped with digital instrumentation to monitor the flowrate and critical temperatures. It can supply a variable water temperature down to 34 deg., and it can generate a maximum water flowrate of 2.5 LPM. My next project was to design and build a Breathing Air System that was capable of supply facility air to subjects wearing the Z-2 space suit. The system intakes 150 PSIG breathing air and regulates it to two operating pressures: 4.3 and 8.3 PSIG. It can also provide structural capabilities at 1.5x operating pressure: 6.6 and 13.2 PSIG, respectively. It has instrumentation to monitor flowrate, as well as inlet and outlet pressures. The system has a series of relief valves to fully protect itself in case of regulator failure. Both projects followed a similar design methodology. The first task was to perform research on existing concepts to develop a sufficient background knowledge. Then mathematical models were developed to size components and simulate system performance. Next, mechanical and electrical schematics were generated and presented at Design Reviews. After the systems were approved by the suit team, all the hardware components were specified and procured. The systems were then packaged, fabricated, and thoroughly tested. The next step

  20. Safe use of radioisotopes.

    PubMed

    Meisenhelder, Jill; Semba, Kentaro

    2006-09-01

    The use of radioisotopes to label specific molecules in a defined way has greatly furthered the discovery and dissection of biochemical pathways. The development of methods to synthesize such tagged biological compounds inexpensively on an industrial scale has enabled them to be used routinely in laboratory protocols, including many detailed in this manual. Although most of these protocols involve the use of only microcurie amounts of radioactivity, some (particularly those describing the metabolic labeling of proteins or nucleic acids within cells) require amounts on the order of millicuries. In all cases where radioisotopes are used, depending on the quantity and nature of the isotope, certain precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of the scientist. It is essential to use good safety practices and proper protection to handle radioactive substances. This unit discusses handling, storage, and disposal of the isotopes most frequently used in biological research. PMID:18432960

  1. Taming Highly Charged Radioisotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chowdhury, Usman; Eberhardt, Benjamin; Jang, Fuluni; Schultz, Brad; Simon, Vanessa; Delheij, Paul; Dilling, Jens; Gwinner, Gerald

    2012-10-01

    The precise and accurate mass of short-lived radioisotopes is a very important parameter in physics. Contribution to the improvement of nuclear models, metrological standard fixing and tests of the unitarity of the Caibbibo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (CKM) matrix are a few examples where the mass value plays a major role. TRIUMF's ion trap for atomic and nuclear physics (TITAN) is a unique facility of three online ion traps that enables the mass measurement of short-lived isotopes with high precision (˜10-8). At present TITAN's electron beam ion trap (EBIT) increases the charge state to increase the precision, but there is no facility to significantly reduce the energy spread introduced by the charge breeding process. The precision of the measured mass of radioisotopes is linearly dependent on the charge state while the energy spread of the charged radioisotopes affects the precision adversely. To boost the precision level of mass measurement at TITAN without loosing too many ions, a cooler Penning trap (CPET) is being developed. CPET is designed to use either positively (proton) or negatively (electron) charged particles to reduce the energy spread via sympathetic cooling. Off-line setup of CPET is complete. Details of the working principles and updates are presented

  2. Advanced Health Management System for the Space Shuttle Main Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Matt; Stephens, John

    2004-01-01

    Boeing-Canoga Park (BCP) and NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA-MSFC) are developing an Advanced Health Management System (AHMS) for use on the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) that will improve Shuttle safety by reducing the probability of catastrophic engine failures during the powered ascent phase of a Shuttle mission. This is a phased approach that consists of an upgrade to the current Space Shuttle Main Engine Controller (SSMEC) to add turbomachinery synchronous vibration protection and addition of a separate Health Management Computer (HMC) that will utilize advanced algorithms to detect and mitigate predefined engine anomalies. The purpose of the Shuttle AHMS is twofold; one is to increase the probability of successfully placing the Orbiter into the intended orbit, and the other is to increase the probability of being able to safely execute an abort of a Space Transportation System (STS) launch. Both objectives are achieved by increasing the useful work envelope of a Space Shuttle Main Engine after it has developed anomalous performance during launch and the ascent phase of the mission. This increase in work envelope will be the result of two new anomaly mitigation options, in addition to existing engine shutdown, that were previously unavailable. The added anomaly mitigation options include engine throttle-down and performance correction (adjustment of engine oxidizer to fuel ratio), as well as enhanced sensor disqualification capability. The HMC is intended to provide the computing power necessary to diagnose selected anomalous engine behaviors and for making recommendations to the engine controller for anomaly mitigation. Independent auditors have assessed the reduction in Shuttle ascent risk to be on the order of 40% with the combined system and a three times improvement in mission success.

  3. Technology Development for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Qiu, Songgang; White, Maurice A.

    2000-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center and the Department of Energy are developing a Stirling convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. NASA Glenn is addressing key technology issues through the use of two NASA Phase II SBIRs with Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Kennewick, WA. Under the first SBIR, STC demonstrated a synchronous connection of two thermodynamically independent free-piston Stirling convertors and a 40 to 50 fold reduction in vibrations compared to an unbalanced convertor. The second SBIR is for the development of an Adaptive Vibration Reduction System (AVRS) that will essentially eliminate vibrations over the mission lifetime, even in the unlikely event of a failed convertor. This paper presents the status and results for these two SBIR projects and also discusses a new NASA Glenn in-house project to provide supporting technology for the overall Stirling radioisotope power system development. Tasks for this new effort include convertor performance verification, controls development, heater head structural life assessment, magnet characterization and thermal aging tests, FEA analysis for a lightweight alternator concept, and demonstration of convertor operation under launch and orbit transfer load conditions.

  4. Technology development for a Stirling radioisotope power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Qiu, Songgang; White, Maurice A.

    2000-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center and the Department of Energy are developing a Stirling convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. NASA Glenn is addressing key technology issues through the use of two NASA Phase II SBIRs with Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Kennewick, WA. Under the first SBIR, STC demonstrated a synchronous connection of two thermodynamically independent free-piston Stirling convertors and a 40 to 50 fold reduction in vibrations compared to an unbalanced convertor. The second SBIR is for the development of an Adaptive Vibration Reduction System (AVRS) that will essentially eliminate vibrations over the mission lifetime, even in the unlikely event of a failed convertor. This paper presents the status and results for these two SBIR projects and also discusses a new NASA Glenn in-house project to provide supporting technology for the overall Stirling radioisotope power system development. Tasks for this new effort include convertor performance verification, controls development, heater head structural life assessment, magnet characterization and thermal aging tests, FEA analysis for a lightweight alternator concept, and demonstration of convertor operation under launch and orbit transfer load conditions. .

  5. Latest Development in Advanced Sensors at Kennedy Space Center (KSC)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perotti, Jose M.; Eckhoff, Anthony J.; Voska, N. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Inexpensive space transportation system must be developed in order to make spaceflight more affordable. To achieve this goal, there is a need to develop inexpensive smart sensors to allow autonomous checking of the health of the vehicle and associated ground support equipment, warn technicians or operators of an impending problem and facilitate rapid vehicle pre-launch operations. The Transducers and Data Acquisition group at Kennedy Space Center has initiated an effort to study, research, develop and prototype inexpensive smart sensors to accomplish these goals. Several technological challenges are being investigated and integrated in this project multi-discipline sensors; self-calibration, health self-diagnosis capabilities embedded in sensors; advanced data acquisition systems with failure prediction algorithms and failure correction (self-healing) capabilities.

  6. Development of Advanced Robotic Hand System for space application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Machida, Kazuo; Akita, Kenzo; Mikami, Tatsuo; Komada, Satoru

    1994-01-01

    The Advanced Robotic Hand System (ARH) is a precise telerobotics system with a semi dexterous hand for future space application. The ARH will be tested in space as one of the missions of the Engineering Tests Satellite 7 (ETS-7) which will be launched in 1997. The objectives of the ARH development are to evaluate the capability of a possible robot hand for precise and delicate tasks and to validate the related technologies implemented in the system. The ARH is designed to be controlled both from ground as a teleoperation and by locally autonomous control. This paper presents the overall system design and the functional capabilities of the ARH as well as its mission outline as the preliminary design has been completed.

  7. Advanced Electric Propulsion for Space Solar Power Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steve

    1999-01-01

    The sun tower concept of collecting solar energy in space and beaming it down for commercial use will require very affordable in-space as well as earth-to-orbit transportation. Advanced electric propulsion using a 200 kW power and propulsion system added to the sun tower nodes can provide a factor of two reduction in the required number of launch vehicles when compared to in-space cryogenic chemical systems. In addition, the total time required to launch and deliver the complete sun tower system is of the same order of magnitude using high power electric propulsion or cryogenic chemical propulsion: around one year. Advanced electric propulsion can also be used to minimize the stationkeeping propulsion system mass for this unique space platform. 50 to 100 kW class Hall, ion, magnetoplasmadynamic, and pulsed inductive thrusters are compared. High power Hall thruster technology provides the best mix of launches saved and shortest ground to Geosynchronous Earth Orbital Environment (GEO) delivery time of all the systems, including chemical. More detailed studies comparing launch vehicle costs, transfer operations costs, and propulsion system costs and complexities must be made to down-select a technology. The concept of adding electric propulsion to the sun tower nodes was compared to a concept using re-useable electric propulsion tugs for Low Earth Orbital Environment (LEO) to GEO transfer. While the tug concept would reduce the total number of required propulsion systems, more launchers and notably longer LEO to GEO and complete sun tower ground to GEO times would be required. The tugs would also need more complex, longer life propulsion systems and the ability to dock with sun tower nodes.

  8. Environmental impact statement Space Shuttle advanced solid rocket motor program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The proposed action is design, development, testing, and evaluation of Advanced Solid Rocket Motors (ASRM) to replace the motors currently used to launch the Space Shuttle. The proposed action includes design, construction, and operation of new government-owned, contractor-operated facilities for manufacturing and testing the ASRM's. The proposed action also includes transport of propellant-filled rocket motor segments from the manufacturing facility to the testing and launch sites and the return of used and/or refurbished segments to the manufacturing site. Sites being considered for the new facilities include John C. Stennis Space Center, Hancock County, Mississippi; the Yellow Creek site in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, which is currently in the custody and control of the Tennessee Valley Authority; and John F. Kennedy Space Center, Brevard County, Florida. TVA proposes to transfer its site to the custody and control of NASA if it is the selected site. All facilities need not be located at the same site. Existing facilities which may provide support for the program include Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans Parish, Louisiana; and Slidell Computer Center, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. NASA's preferred production location is the Yellow Creek site, and the preferred test location is the Stennis Space Center.

  9. Test Program for Stirling Radioisotope Generator Hardware at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Bolotin, Gary S.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2015-01-01

    Stirling-based energy conversion technology has demonstrated the potential of high efficiency and low mass power systems for future space missions. This capability is beneficial, if not essential, to making certain deep space missions possible. Significant progress was made developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a 140-W radioisotope power system. A variety of flight-like hardware, including Stirling convertors, controllers, and housings, was designed and built under the ASRG flight development project. To support future Stirling-based power system development NASA has proposals that, if funded, will allow this hardware to go on test at the NASA Glenn Research Center. While future flight hardware may not be identical to the hardware developed under the ASRG flight development project, many components will likely be similar, and system architectures may have heritage to ASRG. Thus, the importance of testing the ASRG hardware to the development of future Stirling-based power systems cannot be understated. This proposed testing will include performance testing, extended operation to establish an extensive reliability database, and characterization testing to quantify subsystem and system performance and better understand system interfaces. This paper details this proposed test program for Stirling radioisotope generator hardware at NASA Glenn. It explains the rationale behind the proposed tests and how these tests will meet the stated objectives.

  10. Test Program for Stirling Radioisotope Generator Hardware at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Bolotin, Gary S.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2014-01-01

    Stirling-based energy conversion technology has demonstrated the potential of high efficiency and low mass power systems for future space missions. This capability is beneficial, if not essential, to making certain deep space missions possible. Significant progress was made developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a 140-watt radioisotope power system. A variety of flight-like hardware, including Stirling convertors, controllers, and housings, was designed and built under the ASRG flight development project. To support future Stirling-based power system development NASA has proposals that, if funded, will allow this hardware to go on test at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). While future flight hardware may not be identical to the hardware developed under the ASRG flight development project, many components will likely be similar, and system architectures may have heritage to ASRG. Thus the importance of testing the ASRG hardware to the development of future Stirling-based power systems cannot be understated. This proposed testing will include performance testing, extended operation to establish an extensive reliability database, and characterization testing to quantify subsystem and system performance and better understand system interfaces. This paper details this proposed test program for Stirling radioisotope generator hardware at NASA GRC. It explains the rationale behind the proposed tests and how these tests will meet the stated objectives.

  11. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-06-15

    In recent years the methodology proposed for conversion of light elements into energy via fusion has made steady progress. Scientific studies and engineering efforts in advanced fusion systems designs have introduced some new concepts with unique aspects including consideration of Aneutronic fuels. The plant parameters for harnessing aneutronic fusion appear more exigent than those required for the conventional fusion fuel cycle. However aneutronic fusion propulsion plants for Space deployment will ultimately offer the possibility of enhanced performance from nuclear gain as compared to existing ionic engines as well as providing a clean solution to Planetary Protection considerations and requirements. Proton triggered 11Boron fuel (p- 11B) will produce abundant ion kinetic energy for In-Space vectored thrust. Thus energetic alpha particles' exhaust momentum can be used directly to produce high Isp thrust and also offer possibility of power conversion into electricity. p-11B is an advanced fusion plant fuel with well understood reaction kinematics but will require some new conceptual thinking as to the most effective implementation.

  12. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years the methodology proposed for conversion of light elements into energy via fusion has made steady progress. Scientific studies and engineering efforts in advanced fusion systems designs have introduced some new concepts with unique aspects including consideration of Aneutronic fuels. The plant parameters for harnessing aneutronic fusion appear more exigent than those required for the conventional fusion fuel cycle. However aneutronic fusion propulsion plants for Space deployment will ultimately offer the possibility of enhanced performance from nuclear gain as compared to existing ionic engines as well as providing a clean solution to Planetary Protection considerations and requirements. Proton triggered 11Boron fuel (p- 11B) will produce abundant ion kinetic energy for In-Space vectored thrust. Thus energetic alpha particles "exhaust" momentum can be used directly to produce high ISP thrust and also offer possibility of power conversion into electricity. p- 11B is an advanced fusion plant fuel with well understood reaction kinematics but will require some new conceptual thinking as to the most effective implementation.

  13. Advances in Autonomous Systems for Missions of Space Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, A. R.; Smith, B. D.; Briggs, G. A.; Hieronymus, J.; Clancy, D. J.

    New missions of space exploration will require unprecedented levels of autonomy to successfully accomplish their objectives. Both inherent complexity and communication distances will preclude levels of human involvement common to current and previous space flight missions. With exponentially increasing capabilities of computer hardware and software, including networks and communication systems, a new balance of work is being developed between humans and machines. This new balance holds the promise of meeting the greatly increased space exploration requirements, along with dramatically reduced design, development, test, and operating costs. New information technologies, which take advantage of knowledge-based software, model-based reasoning, and high performance computer systems, will enable the development of a new generation of design and development tools, schedulers, and vehicle and system health monitoring and maintenance capabilities. Such tools will provide a degree of machine intelligence and associated autonomy that has previously been unavailable. These capabilities are critical to the future of space exploration, since the science and operational requirements specified by such missions, as well as the budgetary constraints that limit the ability to monitor and control these missions by a standing army of ground- based controllers. System autonomy capabilities have made great strides in recent years, for both ground and space flight applications. Autonomous systems have flown on advanced spacecraft, providing new levels of spacecraft capability and mission safety. Such systems operate by utilizing model-based reasoning that provides the capability to work from high-level mission goals, while deriving the detailed system commands internally, rather than having to have such commands transmitted from Earth. This enables missions of such complexity and communications distance as are not otherwise possible, as well as many more efficient and low cost

  14. Advances in Autonomous Systems for Missions of Space Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, A. R.; Smith, B. D.; Briggs, G. A.; Hieronymus, J.; Clancy, D. J.

    New missions of space exploration will require unprecedented levels of autonomy to successfully accomplish their objectives. Both inherent complexity and communication distances will preclude levels of human involvement common to current and previous space flight missions. With exponentially increasing capabilities of computer hardware and software, including networks and communication systems, a new balance of work is being developed between humans and machines. This new balance holds the promise of meeting the greatly increased space exploration requirements, along with dramatically reduced design, development, test, and operating costs. New information technologies, which take advantage of knowledge-based software, model-based reasoning, and high performance computer systems, will enable the development of a new generation of design and development tools, schedulers, and vehicle and system health monitoring and maintenance capabilities. Such tools will provide a degree of machine intelligence and associated autonomy that has previously been unavailable. These capabilities are critical to the future of space exploration, since the science and operational requirements specified by such missions, as well as the budgetary constraints that limit the ability to monitor and control these missions by a standing army of ground- based controllers. System autonomy capabilities have made great strides in recent years, for both ground and space flight applications. Autonomous systems have flown on advanced spacecraft, providing new levels of spacecraft capability and mission safety. Such systems operate by utilizing model-based reasoning that provides the capability to work from high-level mission goals, while deriving the detailed system commands internally, rather than having to have such commands transmitted from Earth. This enables missions of such complexity and communications distance as are not otherwise possible, as well as many more efficient and low cost

  15. An advanced optical system for laser ablation propulsion in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergstue, Grant; Fork, Richard; Reardon, Patrick

    2014-03-01

    We propose a novel space-based ablation driven propulsion engine concept utilizing transmitted energy in the form of a series of ultra-short optical pulses. Key differences are generating the pulses at the transmitting spacecraft and the safe delivery of that energy to the receiving spacecraft for propulsion. By expanding the beam diameter during transmission in space, the energy can propagate at relatively low intensity and then be refocused and redistributed to create an array of ablation sites at the receiver. The ablation array strategy allows greater control over flight dynamics and eases thermal management. Research efforts for this transmission and reception of ultra-short optical pulses include: (1) optical system design; (2) electrical system requirements; (3) thermal management; (4) structured energy transmission safety. Research has also been focused on developing an optical switch concept for the multiplexing of the ultra-short pulses. This optical switch strategy implements multiple reflectors polished into a rotating momentum wheel device to combine the pulses from different laser sources. The optical system design must minimize the thermal load on any one optical element. Initial specifications and modeling for the optical system are being produced using geometrical ray-tracing software to give a better understanding of the optical requirements. In regards to safety, we have advanced the retro-reflective beam locking strategy to include look-ahead capabilities for long propagation distances. Additional applications and missions utilizing multiplexed pulse transmission are also presented. Because the research is in early development, it provides an opportunity for new and valuable advances in the area of transmitted energy for propulsion as well as encourages joint international efforts. Researchers from different countries can cooperate in order to find constructive and safe uses of ordered pulse transmission for propulsion in future space

  16. Advanced Health Management System for the Space Shuttle Main Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Matt; Stephens, John; Rodela, Chris

    2006-01-01

    Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., in cooperation with NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), has developed a new Advanced Health Management System (AHMS) controller for the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) that will increase the probability of successfully placing the shuttle into the intended orbit and increase the safety of the Space Transportation System (STS) launches. The AHMS is an upgrade o the current Block II engine controller whose primary component is an improved vibration monitoring system called the Real-Time Vibration Monitoring System (RTVMS) that can effectively and reliably monitor the state of the high pressure turbomachinery and provide engine protection through a new synchronous vibration redline which enables engine shutdown if the vibration exceeds predetermined thresholds. The introduction of this system required improvements and modification to the Block II controller such as redesigning the Digital Computer Unit (DCU) memory and the Flight Accelerometer Safety Cut-Off System (FASCOS) circuitry, eliminating the existing memory retention batteries, installation of the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) technology, and installation of a High Speed Serial Interface (HSSI) with accompanying outside world connectors. Test stand hot-fire testing along with lab testing have verified successful implementation and is expected to reduce the probability of catastrophic engine failures during the shuttle ascent phase and improve safely by about 23% according to the Quantitative Risk Assessment System (QRAS), leading to a safer and more reliable SSME.

  17. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the Space Station Freedom and for the US economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    The progress made by levels 1, 2, and 3 of the Office of Space Station in developing and applying advanced automation and robotics technology is described. Emphasis is placed upon the Space Station Freedom Program responses to specific recommendations made in the Advanced Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) progress report 10, the flight telerobotic servicer, and the Advanced Development Program. Assessments are presented for these and other areas as they apply to the advancement of automation and robotics technology for the Space Station Freedom.

  18. Space Shuttle 2 Advanced Space Transportation System. Volume 1: Executive Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adinaro, James N.; Benefield, Philip A.; Johnson, Shelby D.; Knight, Lisa K.

    1989-01-01

    An investigation into the feasibility of establishing a second generation space transportation system is summarized. Incorporating successful systems from the Space Shuttle and technological advances made since its conception, the second generation shuttle was designed to be a lower-cost, reliable system which would guarantee access to space well into the next century. A fully reusable, all-liquid propellant booster/orbiter combination using parallel burn was selected as the base configuration. Vehicle characteristics were determined from NASA ground rules and optimization evaluations. The launch profile was constructed from particulars of the vehicle design and known orbital requirements. A stability and control analysis was performed for the landing phase of the orbiter's flight. Finally, a preliminary safety analysis was performed to indicate possible failure modes and consequences.

  19. Work Began on Contracts for Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Research and Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.

    2005-01-01

    NASA has had a history of successful space flight missions that depended on radioisotope-fueled power systems. These Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs) converted the heat generated from the decay of radioisotope material into useful electrical power. An RPS is most attractive in applications where photovoltaics are not optimal, such as deep-space applications where the solar flux is too low or extended applications on planets such as Mars where the day/night cycle, settling of dust, and life requirements limit the usefulness of photovoltaics. NASA s Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology (RPCT) Program is developing next-generation power-conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that cannot be met by the two RPS flight systems currently being developed by the Department of Energy for NASA: the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator and the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG).

  20. Alternative Radioisotopes for Heat and Power Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinsley, T.; Sarsfield, M.; Rice, T.

    Production of 238Pu requires considerable facilities including a nuclear reactor and reprocessing plants that are very expensive to build and operate. Thus, a more economical alternative is very attractive to the industry. There are many alternative radioisotopes that exist but few that satisfy the criteria of performance, availability and cost to produce. Any alternative to 238Pu must exist in a chemical form that is compatible with the materials required to safely encapsulate the heat source at the high temperatures of operation and potential launch failure scenarios. The chemical form must also have suitable thermal properties to ensure maximum energy conversion efficiencies when integrated into radioisotope thermoelectric generators over the required mission durations. In addition, the radiation dose must be low enough for operators during production and not so prohibitive that excessive shielding mass is required on the space craft. This paper will focus on the preferred European alternative of 241Am, and the issues that will need to be addressed.

  1. Overview of Advanced Space Propulsion Activities in the Space Environmental Effects Team at MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, David; Carruth, Ralph; Vaughn, Jason; Schneider, Todd; Kamenetzky, Rachel; Gray, Perry

    2000-01-01

    Exploration of our solar system, and beyond, requires spacecraft velocities beyond our current technological level. Technologies addressing this limitation are numerous. The Space Environmental Effects (SEE) Team at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is focused on three discipline areas of advanced propulsion; Tethers, Beamed Energy, and Plasma. This presentation will give an overview of advanced propulsion related activities in the Space Environmental Effects Team at MSFC. Advancements in the application of tethers for spacecraft propulsion were made while developing the Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS). New tether materials were developed to meet the specifications of the ProSEDS mission and new techniques had to be developed to test and characterize these tethers. Plasma contactors were developed, tested and modified to meet new requirements. Follow-on activities in tether propulsion include the Air-SEDS activity. Beamed energy activities initiated with an experimental investigation to quantify the momentum transfer subsequent to high power, 5J, ablative laser interaction with materials. The next step with this experimental investigation is to quantify non-ablative photon momentum transfer. This step was started last year and will be used to characterize the efficiency of solar sail materials before and after exposure to Space Environmental Effects (SEE). Our focus with plasma, for propulsion, concentrates on optimizing energy deposition into a magnetically confined plasma and integration of measurement techniques for determining plasma parameters. Plasma confinement is accomplished with the Marshall Magnetic Mirror (M3) device. Initial energy coupling experiments will consist of injecting a 50 amp electron beam into a target plasma. Measurements of plasma temperature and density will be used to determine the effect of changes in magnetic field structure, beam current, and gas species. Experimental observations will be compared to

  2. Advanced Embedded Active Assemblies for Extreme Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DelCastillo, Linda; Moussessian, Alina; Mojarradi, Mohammad; Kolawa, Elizabeth

    2009-01-01

    This work describes the development and evaluation of advanced technologies for the integration of electronic die within membrane polymers. Specifically, investigators thinned silicon die, electrically connecting them with circuits on flexible liquid crystal polymer (LCP), using gold thermo-compression flip chip bonding, and embedding them within the material. Daisy chain LCP assemblies were thermal cycled from -135 to +85degC (Mars surface conditions for motor control electronics). The LCP assembly method was further utilized to embed an operational amplifier designed for operation within the Mars surface ambient. The embedded op-amp assembly was evaluated with respect to the influence of temperature on the operational characteristics of the device. Applications for this technology range from multifunctional, large area, flexible membrane structures to small-scale, flexible circuits that can be fit into tight spaces for flex to fit applications.

  3. Thermal blanket insulation for advanced space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusch, Richard H.

    1985-01-01

    The feasibility of weaving Nextel ceramic and Nicalon silicon carbide yarns into integrally woven, three dimensional fluted core fabrics was demonstrated. Parallel face fabrics joined with woven fabric ribs to form triangular cross section flutes between the faces were woven into three single and one double layer configuration. High warp yarn density in the double layer configuration caused considerable yarn breakage during weaving. The flutes of all four fabrics were filled with mandrels made from Q-Fiber Felt and FRCI-20-12 to form candidate insulation panels for advanced Space Transportation Systems. Procedures for preparing and inserting the mandrels were developed. Recommendations are made on investigating alternate methods for filling the flutes with insulation, and for improving the weaving of these types of fabrics.

  4. TID Simulation of Advanced CMOS Devices for Space Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sajid, Muhammad

    2016-07-01

    This paper focuses on Total Ionizing Dose (TID) effects caused by accumulation of charges at silicon dioxide, substrate/silicon dioxide interface, Shallow Trench Isolation (STI) for scaled CMOS bulk devices as well as at Buried Oxide (BOX) layer in devices based on Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) technology to be operated in space radiation environment. The radiation induced leakage current and corresponding density/concentration electrons in leakage current path was presented/depicted for 180nm, 130nm and 65nm NMOS, PMOS transistors based on CMOS bulk as well as SOI process technologies on-board LEO and GEO satellites. On the basis of simulation results, the TID robustness analysis for advanced deep sub-micron technologies was accomplished up to 500 Krad. The correlation between the impact of technology scaling and magnitude of leakage current with corresponding total dose was established utilizing Visual TCAD Genius program.

  5. Space Station Freedom advanced photovoltaics and battery technology development planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brender, Karen D.; Cox, Spruce M.; Gates, Mark T.; Verzwyvelt, Scott A.

    1993-01-01

    Space Station Freedom (SSF) usable electrical power is planned to be built up incrementally during assembly phase to a peak of 75 kW end-of-life (EOL) shortly after Permanently Manned Capability (PMC) is achieved in 1999. This power will be provided by planar silicon (Si) arrays and nickel-hydrogen (NiH2) batteries. The need for power is expected to grow from 75 kW to as much as 150 kW EOL during the evolutionary phase of SSF, with initial increases beginning as early as 2002. Providing this additional power with current technology may not be as cost effective as using advanced technology arrays and batteries expected to develop prior to this evolutionary phase. A six-month study sponsored by NASA Langley Research Center and conducted by Boeing Defense and Space Group was initiated in Aug. 1991. The purpose of the study was to prepare technology development plans for cost effective advanced photovoltaic (PV) and battery technologies with application to SSF growth, SSF upgrade after its arrays and batteries reach the end of their design lives, and other low Earth orbit (LEO) platforms. Study scope was limited to information available in the literature, informal industry contacts, and key representatives from NASA and Boeing involved in PV and battery research and development. Ten battery and 32 PV technologies were examined and their performance estimated for SSF application. Promising technologies were identified based on performance and development risk. Rough order of magnitude cost estimates were prepared for development, fabrication, launch, and operation. Roadmaps were generated describing key issues and development paths for maturing these technologies with focus on SSF application.

  6. Small electromagnetically clean satellite platform and advanced space instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korepanov, Valery; Makarov, Oleksander; Belyayev, Serhiy; Lukenyuk, Adolf; Marusenkov, Andriy

    The Ukrainian space program in the branch of space scientific research is based on recent achievements in the development of small microsatellite platforms and advanced onboard instrumentation. The present state of both these activities is outlined in the report. First, the design and composition peculiarities of a new microsatellite platform dedicated to carry the high sensitive electromagnetic sensors and mass-spectrometers are presented. An open nonhermetic construction gives possibilities to divide efficiently service and scientific payload. This feature as well as special measures foreseen by the solar panels and cable harness layout allows electromagnetic interference decreasing and easy introducing of shielding and compensating facilities. Up to 4 booms deployment is foreseen by the platform construction to move away far enough the electromagnetic sensors from the satellite body allow realizing the ultimate sensors sensitivity up to highest international standards. An onboard data collection and processing unit is organized in such a way that it controls efficiently both service and scientific systems. Second, some recent advances are reported in the branch of onboard electromagnetic instrumentation creation. New combined sensor - wave probe - is developed and experimentally tested in laboratory plasma chamber and in spatial experiment. This is a unique device which permits measuring simultaneously in one point three physical values - spatial current density, magnetic field fluctuations and electric potential. Other recent versions of super-light flux-gate and induction coil sensors are described. The performances of both microsatellite platform and mentioned electromagnetic sensors are discussed and the results of experimental verification of their parameters are presented. This works were supported by NSAU contract No 1-02/03 and STCU grant 3165.

  7. Benefits from synergies and advanced technologies for an advanced-technology space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrett, L. Bernard; Ferebee, Melvin J., Jr.; Queijo, Manuel J.; Butterfield, Ansel J.

    1991-01-01

    A configuration for a second-generation advanced technology space station has been defined in a series of NASA-sponsored studies. Definitions of subsystems specifically addressed opportunities for beneficial synergistic interactions and those potential synergies and their benefits are identified. One of the more significant synergistic benefits involves the multi-function utilization of water within a large system that generates artificial gravity by rotation. In such a system, water not only provides the necessary crew life support, but also serves as counterrotator mass, as moveable ballast, and as a source for propellant gases. Additionally, the synergistic effects between advanced technology materials, operation at reduced artificial gravity, and lower cabin atmospheric pressure levels show beneficial interactions that can be quantified in terms of reduced mass to orbit.

  8. Space Shuttle Main Engine: Advanced Health Monitoring System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singer, Chirs

    1999-01-01

    The main gola of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) Advanced Health Management system is to improve flight safety. To this end the new SSME has robust new components to improve the operating margen and operability. The features of the current SSME health monitoring system, include automated checkouts, closed loop redundant control system, catastropic failure mitigation, fail operational/ fail-safe algorithms, and post flight data and inspection trend analysis. The features of the advanced health monitoring system include: a real time vibration monitor system, a linear engine model, and an optical plume anomaly detection system. Since vibration is a fundamental measure of SSME turbopump health, it stands to reason that monitoring the vibration, will give some idea of the health of the turbopumps. However, how is it possible to avoid shutdown, when it is not necessary. A sensor algorithm has been developed which has been exposed to over 400 test cases in order to evaluate the logic. The optical plume anomaly detection (OPAD) has been developed to be a sensitive monitor of engine wear, erosion, and breakage.

  9. Advanced Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem Packaging Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howe, Robert; Diep, Chuong; Barnett, Bob; Thomas, Gretchen; Rouen, Michael; Kobus, Jack

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses the Portable Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) packaging design work done by the NASA and Hamilton Sundstrand in support of the 3 future space missions; Lunar, Mars and zero-g. The goal is to seek ways to reduce the weight of PLSS packaging, and at the same time, develop a packaging scheme that would make PLSS technology changes less costly than the current packaging methods. This study builds on the results of NASA s in-house 1998 study, which resulted in the "Flex PLSS" concept. For this study the present EMU schematic (low earth orbit) was used so that the work team could concentrate on the packaging. The Flex PLSS packaging is required to: protect, connect, and hold the PLSS and its components together internally and externally while providing access to PLSS components internally for maintenance and for technology change without extensive redesign impact. The goal of this study was two fold: 1. Bring the advanced space suit integrated Flex PLSS concept from its current state of development to a preliminary design level and build a proof of concept mockup of the proposed design, and; 2. "Design" a Design Process, which accommodates both the initial Flex PLSS design and the package modifications, required to accommodate new technology.

  10. Integration of advanced teleoperation technologies for control of space robots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stagnaro, Michael J.

    1993-01-01

    Teleoperated robots require one or more humans to control actuators, mechanisms, and other robot equipment given feedback from onboard sensors. To accomplish this task, the human or humans require some form of control station. Desirable features of such a control station include operation by a single human, comfort, and natural human interfaces (visual, audio, motion, tactile, etc.). These interfaces should work to maximize performance of the human/robot system by streamlining the link between human brain and robot equipment. This paper describes development of a control station testbed with the characteristics described above. Initially, this testbed will be used to control two teleoperated robots. Features of the robots include anthropomorphic mechanisms, slaving to the testbed, and delivery of sensory feedback to the testbed. The testbed will make use of technologies such as helmet mounted displays, voice recognition, and exoskeleton masters. It will allow tor integration and testing of emerging telepresence technologies along with techniques for coping with control link time delays. Systems developed from this testbed could be applied to ground control of space based robots. During man-tended operations, the Space Station Freedom may benefit from ground control of IVA or EVA robots with science or maintenance tasks. Planetary exploration may also find advanced teleoperation systems to be very useful.

  11. The use of advanced materials in space structure applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, D. C. G.; Slachmuylders, E. J.

    The last decade has seen the Space applications of composite materials become almost commonplace in the construction of configurations requiring high stiffness and/or dimensional stability, particularly in the field of antennas. As experience has been accumulated, applications for load carrying structures utilizing the inherent high specific strength/stiffness of carbon fibres have become more frequent. Some typical examples of these and their design development criteria are reviewed. As these structures and the use of new plastic matrices emerge, considerable attention has to be given to establishing essential integrity control requirements from both safety and cost aspects. The advent of manned European space flight places greater emphasis on such requirements. Attention is given to developments in the fields of metallic structures with discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of their application. The design and development of hot structures, thermal protection systems and air-breathing engines for future launch vehicles necessitates the use of the emerging metal/matrix and other advanced materials. Some of their important features are outlined. Means of achieving such objectives by greater harmonization within Europe are emphasized. Typical examples of on-going activities to promote such collaboration are described.

  12. NASA Radioisotope Power System Program - Technology and Flight Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sutliff, Thomas J.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.

    2009-01-01

    NASA sometimes conducts robotic science missions to solar system destinations for which the most appropriate power source is derived from thermal-to-electrical energy conversion of nuclear decay of radioactive isotopes. Typically the use of a radioisotope power system (RPS) has been limited to medium and large-scale missions, with 26 U,S, missions having used radioisotope power since 1961. A research portfolio of ten selected technologies selected in 2003 has progressed to a point of maturity, such that one particular technology may he considered for future mission use: the Advanced Stirling Converter. The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator is a new power system in development based on this Stirling cycle dynamic power conversion technology. This system may be made available for smaller, Discovery-class NASA science missions. To assess possible uses of this new capability, NASA solicited and funded nine study teams to investigate unique opportunities for exploration of potential destinations for small Discovery-class missions. The influence of the results of these studies and the ongoing development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator system are discussed in the context of an integrated Radioisotope Power System program. Discussion of other and future technology investments and program opportunities are provided.

  13. New advanced radio diagnostics tools for Space Weather Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krankowski, A.; Rothkaehl, H.; Atamaniuk, B.; Morawski, M.; Zakharenkova, I.; Cherniak, I.; Otmianowska-Mazur, K.

    2013-12-01

    data retrieved from FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC radio occultation measurements. The main purpose of this presentation is to describe new advanced diagnostic techniques of the near-Earth space plasma and point out the scientific challenges of the radio frequency analyser located on board of low orbiting satellites and LOFAR facilities.

  14. Silicon Carbide Radioisotope Batteries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rybicki, George C.

    2005-01-01

    The substantial radiation resistance and large bandgap of SiC semiconductor materials makes them an attractive candidate for application in a high efficiency, long life radioisotope battery. To evaluate their potential in this application, simulated batteries were constructed using SiC diodes and the alpha particle emitter Americium Am-241 or the beta particle emitter Promethium Pm-147. The Am-241 based battery showed high initial power output and an initial conversion efficiency of approximately 16%, but the power output decayed 52% in 500 hours due to radiation damage. In contrast the Pm-147 based battery showed a similar power output level and an initial conversion efficiency of approximately 0.6%, but no degradation was observed in 500 hours. However, the Pm-147 battery required approximately 1000 times the particle fluence as the Am-242 battery to achieve a similar power output. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of battery and suggestions for future improvements will be discussed.

  15. NEW DIRECTIONS IN RADIOISOTOPE SPECTRUM IDENTIFICATION

    SciTech Connect

    Salaymeh, S.; Jeffcoat, R.

    2010-06-17

    Recent studies have found the performance of commercial handheld detectors with automatic RIID software to be less than acceptable. Previously, we have explored approaches rooted in speech processing such as cepstral features and information-theoretic measures. Scientific advances are often made when researchers identify mathematical or physical commonalities between different fields and are able to apply mature techniques or algorithms developed in one field to another field which shares some of the same challenges. The authors of this paper have identified similarities between the unsolved problems faced in gamma-spectroscopy for automated radioisotope identification and the challenges of the much larger body of research in speech processing. Our research has led to a probabilistic framework for describing and solving radioisotope identification problems. Many heuristic approaches to classification in current use, including for radioisotope classification, make implicit probabilistic assumptions which are not clear to the users and, if stated explicitly, might not be considered desirable. Our framework leads to a classification approach with demonstrable improvements using standard feature sets on proof-of-concept simulated and field-collected data.

  16. High Efficiency Space Power Systems Project Advanced Space-Rated Batteries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Concha M.

    2011-01-01

    Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) has an agreement with China National Offshore Oil Corporation New Energy Investment Company, Ltd. (CNOOC), under the United States-China EcoPartnerships Framework, to create a bi-national entity seeking to develop technically feasible and economically viable solutions to energy and environmental issues. Advanced batteries have been identified as one of the initial areas targeted for collaborations. CWRU invited NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) personnel from the Electrochemistry Branch to CWRU to discuss various aspects of advanced battery development as they might apply to this partnership. Topics discussed included: the process for the selection of a battery chemistry; the establishment of an integrated development program; project management/technical interactions; new technology developments; and synergies between batteries for automotive and space operations. Additional collaborations between CWRU and NASA GRC's Electrochemistry Branch were also discussed.

  17. A Mobile Communications Space Link Between the Space Shuttle Orbiter and the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, Patrick; Arndt, G. D.; Bondyopadhyay, P.; Shaw, Roland

    1994-01-01

    A communications experiment is described as a link between the Space Shuttle Orbiter (SSO) and the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS). Breadboarding for this experiment has led to two items with potential for commercial application: a 1-Watt Ka-band amplifier and a Ka-band, circularly polarized microstrip antenna. Results of the hybrid Ka-band amplifier show gain at 30 dB and a saturated output power of 28.5 dBm. A second version comprised of MMIC amplifiers is discussed. Test results of the microstrip antenna subarray show a gain of approximately 13 dB and excellent circular polarization.

  18. Beyond the Baseline: Proceedings of the Space Station Evolution Symposium. Volume 2, Part 2; Space Station Freedom Advanced Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This report contains the individual presentations delivered at the Space Station Evolution Symposium in League City, Texas on February 6, 7, 8, 1990. Personnel responsible for Advanced Systems Studies and Advanced Development within the Space Station Freedom program reported on the results of their work to date. Systems Studies presentations focused on identifying the baseline design provisions (hooks and scars) necessary to enable evolution of the facility to support changing space policy and anticipated user needs. Also emphasized were evolution configuration and operations concepts including on-orbit processing of space transfer vehicles. Advanced Development task managers discussed transitioning advanced technologies to the baseline program, including those near-term technologies which will enhance the safety and productivity of the crew and the reliability of station systems. Special emphasis was placed on applying advanced automation technology to ground and flight systems. This publication consists of two volumes. Volume 1 contains the results of the advanced system studies with the emphasis on reference evolution configurations, system design requirements and accommodations, and long-range technology projections. Volume 2 reports on advanced development tasks within the Transition Definition Program. Products of these tasks include: engineering fidelity demonstrations and evaluations on Station development testbeds and Shuttle-based flight experiments; detailed requirements and performance specifications which address advanced technology implementation issues; and mature applications and the tools required for the development, implementation, and support of advanced technology within the Space Station Freedom Program.

  19. Development of tailorable advanced blanket insulation for advanced space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calamito, Dominic P.

    1987-01-01

    Two items of Tailorable Advanced Blanket Insulation (TABI) for Advanced Space Transportation Systems were produced. The first consisted of flat panels made from integrally woven, 3-D fluted core having parallel fabric faces and connecting ribs of Nicalon silicon carbide yarns. The triangular cross section of the flutes were filled with mandrels of processed Q-Fiber Felt. Forty panels were prepared with only minimal problems, mostly resulting from the unavailability of insulation with the proper density. Rigidizing the fluted fabric prior to inserting the insulation reduced the production time. The procedures for producing the fabric, insulation mandrels, and TABI panels are described. The second item was an effort to determine the feasibility of producing contoured TABI shapes from gores cut from flat, insulated fluted core panels. Two gores of integrally woven fluted core and single ply fabric (ICAS) were insulated and joined into a large spherical shape employing a tadpole insulator at the mating edges. The fluted core segment of each ICAS consisted of an Astroquartz face fabric and Nicalon face and rib fabrics, while the single ply fabric segment was Nicalon. Further development will be required. The success of fabricating this assembly indicates that this concept may be feasible for certain types of space insulation requirements. The procedures developed for weaving the ICAS, joining the gores, and coating certain areas of the fabrics are presented.

  20. Weight and cost forecasting for advanced manned space vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Raymond

    1989-01-01

    A mass and cost estimating computerized methology for predicting advanced manned space vehicle weights and costs was developed. The user friendly methology designated MERCER (Mass Estimating Relationship/Cost Estimating Relationship) organizes the predictive process according to major vehicle subsystem levels. Design, development, test, evaluation, and flight hardware cost forecasting is treated by the study. This methodology consists of a complete set of mass estimating relationships (MERs) which serve as the control components for the model and cost estimating relationships (CERs) which use MER output as input. To develop this model, numerous MER and CER studies were surveyed and modified where required. Additionally, relationships were regressed from raw data to accommodate the methology. The models and formulations which estimated the cost of historical vehicles to within 20 percent of the actual cost were selected. The result of the research, along with components of the MERCER Program, are reported. On the basis of the analysis, the following conclusions were established: (1) The cost of a spacecraft is best estimated by summing the cost of individual subsystems; (2) No one cost equation can be used for forecasting the cost of all spacecraft; (3) Spacecraft cost is highly correlated with its mass; (4) No study surveyed contained sufficient formulations to autonomously forecast the cost and weight of the entire advanced manned vehicle spacecraft program; (5) No user friendly program was found that linked MERs with CERs to produce spacecraft cost; and (6) The group accumulation weight estimation method (summing the estimated weights of the various subsystems) proved to be a useful method for finding total weight and cost of a spacecraft.

  1. Advanced Technologies for Space Life Science Payloads on the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hines, John W.; Connolly, John P. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    SENSORS 2000! (S2K!) is a specialized, high-performance work group organized to provide advanced engineering and technology support for NASA's Life Sciences spaceflight and ground-based research and development programs. In support of these objectives, S2K! manages NASA's Advanced Technology Development Program for Biosensor and Biotelemetry Systems (ATD-B), with particular emphasis on technologies suitable for Gravitational Biology, Human Health and Performance, and Information Technology and Systems Management. A concurrent objective is to apply and transition ATD-B developed technologies to external, non-NASA humanitarian (medical, clinical, surgical, and emergency) situations and to stimulate partnering and leveraging with other government agencies, academia, and the commercial/industrial sectors. A phased long-term program has been implemented to support science disciplines and programs requiring specific biosensor (i.e., biopotential, biophysical, biochemical, and biological) measurements from humans, animals (mainly primates and rodents), and cells under controlled laboratory and simulated microgravity situations. In addition to the technology programs described above, NASA's Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications Office has initiated a Technology Infusion process to identify and coordinate the utilization and integration of advanced technologies into its International Space Station Facilities. This project has recently identified a series of technologies, tasks, and products which, if implemented, would significantly increase the science return, decrease costs, and provide improved technological capability. This presentation will review the programs described above and discuss opportunities for collaboration, leveraging, and partnering with NASA.

  2. Advanced Biotelemetry Systems for Space Life Sciences: PH Telemetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hines, John W.; Somps, Chris; Ricks, Robert; Kim, Lynn; Connolly, John P. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    The SENSORS 2000! (S2K!) program at NASA's Ames Research Center is currently developing a biotelemetry system for monitoring pH and temperature in unrestrained subjects. This activity is part of a broader scope effort to provide an Advanced Biotelemetry System (ABTS) for use in future space life sciences research. Many anticipated research endeavors will require biomedical and biochemical sensors and related instrumentation to make continuous inflight measurements in a variable-gravity environment. Since crew time is limited, automated data acquisition, data processing, data storage, and subject health monitoring are required. An automated biochemical and physiological data acquisition system based on non invasive or implantable biotelemetry technology will meet these requirements. The ABTS will ultimately acquire a variety of physiological measurands including temperature, biopotentials (e.g. ECG, EEG, EMG, EOG), blood pressure, flow and dimensions, as well as chemical and biological parameters including pH. Development activities are planned in evolutionary, leveraged steps. Near-term activities include 1) development of a dual channel pH/temperature telemetry system, and 2) development of a low bandwidth, 4-channel telemetry system, that measures temperature, heart rate, pressure, and pH. This abstract describes the pH/temperature telemeter.

  3. The Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Spectral Library Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayres, Thomas

    2015-08-01

    Advanced Spectral Library (ASTRAL) is a Hubble Large Treasury Project, whose aim is to collect high-quality ultraviolet (1150-3100 Å) spectra of bright stars, utilizing the echelle modes of powerful Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph; with resolution and signal-to-noise rivaling the best that can be achieved at ground-based observatories in the visible. During HST Cycle 18 (2010-2011), ASTRAL was allocated 146 orbits to record eight representative late-type ("cool") stars, including well-known cosmic denizens like Procyon and Betelgeuse. In Cycle 21 (2013-2014), ASTRAL was awarded an additional 230 orbits to extend the project to the hot side of the H-R diagram: 21 targets covering the O-A spectral types, including household favorites Vega and Sirius. The second part of the program was completed in January 2015. I describe the scientific motivations for observing hot and cool stars in the UV; the unique instrumental characteristics of STIS that enabled a broad survey like ASTRAL; progress in the program to date; and prospects for the future.

  4. International Space Station (ISS) Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (ARFTA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nasrullah, Mohammed K.

    2013-01-01

    The International Space Station (ISS) Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (RFTA) provides the following three primary functions for the Urine Processor Assembly (UPA): volume for concentrating/filtering pretreated urine, filtration of product distillate, and filtration of the Pressure Control and Pump Assembly (PCPA) effluent. The RFTAs, under nominal operations, are to be replaced every 30 days. This poses a significant logistical resupply problem, as well as cost in upmass and new tanks purchase. In addition, it requires significant amount of crew time. To address and resolve these challenges, NASA required Boeing to develop a design which eliminated the logistics and upmass issues and minimize recurring costs. Boeing developed the Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (ARFTA) that allowed the tanks to be emptied on-orbit into disposable tanks that eliminated the need for bringing the fully loaded tanks to earth for refurbishment and relaunch, thereby eliminating several hundred pounds of upmass and its associated costs. The ARFTA will replace the RFTA by providing the same functionality, but with reduced resupply requirements

  5. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Characterization Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Zachary D.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2012-01-01

    Testing has been conducted on Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) convertors at NASA Glenn Research Center in support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) Project. This testing has been conducted to understand sensitivities of convertor parameters due to environmental and operational changes during operation of the ASRG in missions to space. This paper summarizes test results and explains in terms of operation of the ASRG during space missions.

  6. Investigation of Miniaturized Radioisotope Thermionic Power Generation for General Use

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duzik, Adam J.; Choi, Sang H.

    2016-01-01

    Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) running off the radioisotope Pu238 are the current standard in deep space probe power supplies. While reliable, these generators are very inefficient, operating at only approx.7% efficiency. As an alternative, more efficient radioisotope thermionic emission generators (RTIGs) are being explored. Like RTGs, current RTIGs concepts use exotic materials for the emitter, limiting applicability to space and other niche applications. The high demand for long-lasting mobile power sources would be satisfied if RTIGs could be produced inexpensively. This work focuses on exposing several common materials, such as Al, stainless steel, W, Si, and Cu, to elevated temperatures under vacuum to determine the efficiency of each material as inexpensive replacements for thermoelectric materials.

  7. Investigation of miniaturized radioisotope thermionic power generation for general use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duzik, Adam J.; Choi, Sang H.

    2016-04-01

    Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) running off the radioisotope Pu238 are the current standard in deep space probe power supplies. While reliable, these generators are very inefficient, operating at only ~7% efficiency. As an alternative, more efficient radioisotope thermionic emission generators (RTIGs) are being explored. Like RTGs, current RTIGs concepts use exotic materials for the emitter, limiting applicability to space and other niche applications. The high demand for long-lasting mobile power sources would be satisfied if RTIGs could be produced inexpensively. This work focuses on exposing several common materials, such as Al, stainless steel, W, Si, and Cu, to elevated temperatures under vacuum to determine the efficiency of each material as inexpensive replacements for thermoelectric materials.

  8. Radioisotope powered AMTEC systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanenok, Joseph F., III; Sievers, Robert K.

    1994-11-01

    Alkali metal thermal to electric converter (AMTEC) systems are being developed for high performance spacecraft power systems, including small, general purpose heat source (GPHS) powered systems. Several design concepts have been evaluated for the power range from 75 W to 1 kW. The specific power for these concepts has been found to be as high as 18-20 W/kg and 22 kW/m(exp 3). The projected area, including radiators, has been as low as 0.4 m(exp 2)/kW. AMTEC power systems are extremely attractive, relative to other current and projected power systems, because AMTEC offers high power density, low projected area, and low volume. Two AMTEC cell design types have been identified. A single-tube cell is already under development and a multitube cell design, to provide additional power system gains, has undergone proof-of-principle testing. Solar powered AMTEC (SAMTEC) systems are also being developed, and numerous terrestrial applications have been identified for which the same basic AMTEC cells being developed for radioisotope systems are also suitable.

  9. Advanced Propulsion Systems for Low-Cost Access to Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitlow, Woodrow, Jr.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Space Access Goal Ensure the provision of space access and improve it by increasing safety, reliability, and affordability. (1) The launch phase continues to be the highest risk period of any space mission. (2) Launch costs remain an obstacle to the complete utilization of space for research, exploration, and commercial purposes (3) Improving the Nation's access to space through the application of new technology is one of NASA's primary roles.

  10. Advances in Space Transportation Technology Toward the NASA Goals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyles, Garry M.

    2000-01-01

    disassembly and inspections required for the Space Shuttle's subsystems, the next generation vehicle's on-board health monitoring systems will could tell the ground crews which systems need replacement before landing. In twenty-five years, vehicles will be re-flown within one with crews numbering less than one hundred. Fully automated ground processing systems must require only a handful of personnel to launch the vehicle. Due to the increased intelligence of on-board systems, only cursory walk-around inspections would be required between flights An assessment of the progress in breakthrough technologies toward these goals by the NASA Advanced Space Transportation Program is presented. These breakthrough technologies include combined rocket and air breathing propulsion, high strength lightweight structures, high temperature materials, vehicle health management, and flight operations.

  11. Advanced Control Surface Seal Development for Future Space Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeMange, J. J.; Dunlap, P. H., Jr.; Steinetz, B. M.

    2004-01-01

    NASA s Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been developing advanced high temperature structural seals since the late 1980's and is currently developing seals for future space vehicles as part of the Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program. This includes control surface seals that seal the edges and hinge lines of movable flaps and elevons on future reentry vehicles. In these applications, the seals must operate at temperatures above 2000 F in an oxidizing environment, limit hot gas leakage to protect underlying structures, endure high temperature scrubbing against rough surfaces, and remain flexible and resilient enough to stay in contact with sealing surfaces for multiple heating and loading cycles. For this study, three seal designs were compared against the baseline spring tube seal through a series of compression tests at room temperature and 2000 F and flow tests at room temperature. In addition, canted coil springs were tested as preloaders behind the seals at room temperature to assess their potential for improving resiliency. Addition of these preloader elements resulted in significant increases in resiliency compared to the seals by themselves and surpassed the performance of the baseline seal at room temperature. Flow tests demonstrated that the seal candidates with engineered cores had lower leakage rates than the baseline spring tube design. However, when the seals were placed on the preloader elements, the flow rates were higher as the seals were not compressed as much and therefore were not able to fill the groove as well. High temperature tests were also conducted to asses the compatibility of seal fabrics against ceramic matrix composite (CMC) panels anticipated for use in next generation launch vehicles. These evaluations demonstrated potential bonding issues between the Nextel fabrics and CMC candidates.

  12. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the Space Station Freedom and for the US economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lum, Henry, Jr.

    1992-01-01

    Described here is the progress made by Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the Space Station Freedom in developing and applying advanced automation and robotics technology. Emphasis was placed on the Space Station Freedom program responses to specific recommendations made in the Advanced Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) Progress Report 13, and issues of A&R implementation into the payload operations integration Center at Marshall Space Flight Center. Assessments are presented for these and other areas as they apply to the advancement of automation and robotics technology for Space Station Freedom.

  13. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the Space Station and for the US economy, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    In response to Public Law 98-371, dated July 18, 1984, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee has studied automation and robotics for use in the Space Station. The Technical Report, Volume 2, provides background information on automation and robotics technologies and their potential and documents: the relevant aspects of Space Station design; representative examples of automation and robotics; applications; the state of the technology and advances needed; and considerations for technology transfer to U.S. industry and for space commercialization.

  14. Thermophotovoltaic Converter Design for Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowley, Christopher J.; Murray, Susan; Murray, Christopher; Elkouh, Nabil A.

    2004-02-01

    The development of lightweight, efficient power for emerging NASA missions and recent advances in thermophotovoltaic (TPV) conversion technology have renewed interest in combining radioisotope heat sources with photovoltaic energy conversion. Thermophotovoltaic power conversion uses advanced materials able to utilize a broader, spectrally tuned range of wavelengths for more efficient power conversion than solar cells. Spectral control, including selective emitters, TPV module, and filters, are key to high-efficiency operation. This paper outlines the mechanical, thermal, and optical designs for the converter, including the heat source, the selective emitter, filters, photovoltaic (PV) cells, and optical cavity components. Focus is on the emitter type and the band-gap of InGaAs PV cells in developing the design. Any component and converter data available at the time of publication will also be presented.

  15. Thermophotovoltaic Converter Design for Radioisotope Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Crowley, Christopher J.; Elkouh, Nabil A.; Murray, Susan; Murray, Christopher

    2004-02-04

    The development of lightweight, efficient power for emerging NASA missions and recent advances in thermophotovoltaic (TPV) conversion technology have renewed interest in combining radioisotope heat sources with photovoltaic energy conversion. Thermophotovoltaic power conversion uses advanced materials able to utilize a broader, spectrally tuned range of wavelengths for more efficient power conversion than solar cells. Spectral control, including selective emitters, TPV module, and filters, are key to high-efficiency operation. This paper outlines the mechanical, thermal, and optical designs for the converter, including the heat source, the selective emitter, filters, photovoltaic (PV) cells, and optical cavity components. Focus is on the emitter type and the band-gap of InGaAs PV cells in developing the design. Any component and converter data available at the time of publication will also be presented.

  16. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the Space Station Freedom and for the US economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    In April 1985, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) reported to Congress the results of its studies on advanced automation and robotics technology for use on Space Station Freedom. This material was documented in the initial report (NASA Technical Memorandum 87566). The progress made by Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the Office of Space Station in developing and applying advanced automation and robotics technology are described. Emphasis was placed upon the Space Station Freedom Program responses to specific recommendations made in ATAC Progress Report 9, the Flight Telerobotic Servicer, the Advanced Development Program, and the Data Management System. Assessments are presented for these and other areas as they apply to the advancement of automation and robotics technology for the Space Station Freedom.

  17. High Efficiency Thermoelectric Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed; Saber, Hamed; Caillat, Thierry

    2004-01-01

    The work performed and whose results presented in this report is a joint effort between the University of New Mexico s Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. In addition to the development, design, and fabrication of skutterudites and skutterudites-based segmented unicouples this effort included conducting performance tests of these unicouples for hundreds of hours to verify theoretical predictions of the conversion efficiency. The performance predictions of these unicouples are obtained using 1-D and 3-D models developed for that purpose and for estimating the actual performance and side heat losses in the tests conducted at ISNPS. In addition to the performance tests, the development of the 1-D and 3-D models and the development of Advanced Radioisotope Power systems for Beginning-Of-Life (BOM) power of 108 We are carried out at ISNPS. The materials synthesis and fabrication of the unicouples are carried out at JPL. The research conducted at ISNPS is documented in chapters 2-5 and that conducted at JP, in documented in chapter 5. An important consideration in the design and optimization of segmented thermoelectric unicouples (STUs) is determining the relative lengths, cross-section areas, and the interfacial temperatures of the segments of the different materials in the n- and p-legs. These variables are determined using a genetic algorithm (GA) in conjunction with one-dimensional analytical model of STUs that is developed in chapter 2. Results indicated that when optimized for maximum conversion efficiency, the interfacial temperatures between various segments in a STU are close to those at the intersections of the Figure-Of-Merit (FOM), ZT, curves of the thermoelectric materials of the adjacent segments. When optimizing the STUs for maximum electrical power density, however, the interfacial temperatures are different from those at the intersections of the ZT curves, but

  18. Advanced technology for America's future in space. Executive summary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1990-12-01

    This report summarizes the results of a review by a select external technology advisory committee of NASA's recently developed Integrated Technology Plan for the Civil Space Program. This document is the Summary Report from the review by the Space Systems and Technology Advisory Committee (SSTAC), a subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Committee with the assistance of the Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee and the Aerospace Medicine Advisory Committee, and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and Space Studies Board of the National Research Council. The report asks the question 'Why should space technology be a national priority?' The report describes the benefits to the nation as Improving National Competitiveness, Stimulating Quality Science and Engineering Education, Developing Broadly Applicable New Technologies. Specific Benefits for future space endeavors include Improving the Quality for Future U.S. Flight Programs, Reducing the Cost of Access to Space, Increasing Safety and Reliability, Enabling New Space Missions, and Sustaining NASA Expertise. Other improvements and the value of the Integrated Technology Plan are emphasized. Almost uniformly, the review team found that the quality of individual research projects was very high and well integrated with other national efforts.

  19. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the space station and the US economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, A.

    1985-01-01

    In response to Public Law 98-371, dated July 18, 1984, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee has studied automation and rebotics for use in the space station. The Executive Overview, Volume 1 presents the major findings of the study and recommends to NASA principles for advancing automation and robotics technologies for the benefit of the space station and of the U.S. economy in general. As a result of its study, the Advanced Technology Advisory Committee believes that a key element of technology for the space station is extensive use of advanced general-purpose automation and robotics. These systems could provide the United States with important new methods of generating and exploiting space knowledge in commercial enterprises and thereby help preserve U.S. leadership in space.

  20. Operations of a Radioisotope-based Propulsion System Enabling CubeSat Exploration of the Outer Planets

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Steven Howe; Nathan Jerred; Troy Howe; Adarsh Rajguru

    2014-05-01

    Exploration to the outer planets is an ongoing endeavor but in the current economical environment, cost reduction is the forefront of all concern. The success of small satellites such as CubeSats launched to Near-Earth Orbit has lead to examine their potential use to achieve cheaper science for deep space applications. However, to achieve lower cost missions; hardware, launch and operations costs must be minimized. Additionally, as we push towards smaller exploration beds with relative limited power sources, allowing for adequate communication back to Earth is imperative. Researchers at the Center for Space Nuclear Research are developing the potential of utilizing an advanced, radioisotope-based system. This system will be capable of providing both the propulsion power needed to reach the destination and the additional requirements needed to maintain communication while at location. Presented here are a basic trajectory analysis, communication link budget and concept of operations of a dual-mode (thermal and electric) radioisotope-based propulsion system, for a proposed mission to Enceladus (Saturnian icy moon) using a 6U CubeSat payload. The radioisotope system being proposed will be the integration of three sub-systems working together to achieve the overall mission. At the core of the system, stored thermal energy from radioisotope decay is transferred to a passing propellant to achieve high thrust – useful for quick orbital maneuvering. An auxiliary closed-loop Brayton cycle can be operated in parallel to the thrusting mode to provide short bursts of high power for high data-rate communications back to Earth. Additionally, a thermal photovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion system will use radiation heat losses from the core. This in turn can provide the electrical energy needed to utilize the efficiency of ion propulsion to achieve quick interplanetary transit times. The intelligent operation to handle all functions of this system under optimized conditions adds

  1. Reliability and qualification of advanced microelectronics for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kayali, S.

    2003-01-01

    This paper provides a discussion of the subject and an approach to establish a reliability and qualification methodology to facilitate the utilization of state-of-the-art advanced microelectronic devices and structures in high reliability applications.

  2. Potential Applications for Radioisotope Power Systems in Support of Human Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cataldo, Robert L.; Colozza, Anthony J.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    Radioisotope power systems (RPS) for space applications have powered over 27 U.S. space systems, starting with Transit 4A and 4B in 1961, and more recently with the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in August 2012. RPS enable missions with destinations far from the Sun with faint solar flux, on planetary surfaces with dense or dusty atmospheres, and at places with long eclipse periods where solar array sizes and energy storage mass become impractical. RPS could also provide an enabling capability in support of human exploration activities. It is envisioned that with the higher power needs of most human mission concepts, a high efficiency thermal-to-electric technology would be required such as the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope generator (ASRG). The ASRG should be capable of a four-fold improvement in efficiency over traditional thermoelectric RPS. While it may be impractical to use RPS as a main power source, many other applications could be considered, such as crewed pressurized rovers, in-situ resource production of propellants, back-up habitat power, drilling, any mobile or remote activity from the main base habitat, etc. This paper will identify potential applications and provide concepts that could be a practical extension of the current ASRG design in providing for robust and flexible use of RPS on human exploration missions.

  3. Distributed networks enable advances in US space weather operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobiska, W. Kent; Bouwer, S. Dave

    2011-06-01

    Space weather, the shorter-term variable impact of the Sun’s photons, solar wind particles, and interplanetary magnetic field upon the Earth’s environment, adversely affects our technological systems. These technological systems, including their space component, are increasingly being seen as a way to help solve 21st Century problems such as climate change, energy access, fresh water availability, and transportation coordination. Thus, the effects of space weather on space systems and assets must be mitigated and operational space weather using automated distributed networks has emerged as a common operations methodology. The evolution of space weather operations is described and the description of distributed network architectures is provided, including their use of tiers, data objects, redundancy, and time domain definitions. There are several existing distributed networks now providing space weather information and the lessons learned in developing those networks are discussed along with the details of examples for the Solar Irradiance Platform (SIP), Communication Alert and Prediction System (CAPS), GEO Alert and Prediction System (GAPS), LEO Alert and Prediction System (LAPS), Radiation Alert and Prediction System (RAPS), and Magnetosphere Alert and Prediction System (MAPS).

  4. Commercial space opportunities - Advanced concepts and technology overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reck, Gregory M.

    1993-01-01

    The paper discusses the status of current and future commercial space opportunities. The goal is to pioneer innovative, customer-focused space concepts and technologies, leveraged through industrial, academic, and government alliance, to ensure U.S. commercial competitiveness and preeminence in space. The strategy is to develop technologies which enable new products and processes, deploy existing technology into commercial and military products and processes, and integrate military and commercial research and production activities. Technology development areas include information infrastructure, electronics design and manufacture, health care technology, environment technology, and aeronautical technologies.

  5. How to Handle Radioisotopes Safely.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sulcoski, John W.

    This booklet is one in a series of instructional aids designed for use by elementary and secondary school science teachers. The various units and forms of radioactive materials used by teachers are first considered. Then, the quantities of radioisotopes that a person may possess without a license from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) are…

  6. Advances in autonomous systems for space exploration missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, B. D.; Gross, A. R.; Clancy, D. J.; Cannon, H. N.; Barrett, A.; Mjolssness, E.; Muscettola, N.; Chien, S.; Johnson, A.

    2001-01-01

    This paper focuses on new and innovative software for remote, autonomous, space systems flight operation, including distributed autonomous systems, flight test results, and implications and directions for future systems.

  7. Vibration suppression of advanced space cryocoolers - an overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, R. G., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of the vibration characteristics of typical linear-drive space cryocoolers, outlines the history of development and typical performance of the various active and passive vibration suppression systems being used.

  8. Advanced planning activity. [for interplanetary flight and space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    Selected mission concepts for interplanetary exploration through 1985 were examined, including: (1) Jupiter orbiter performance characteristics; (2) solar electric propulsion missions to Mercury, Venus, Neptune, and Uranus; (3) space shuttle planetary missions; (4) Pioneer entry probes to Saturn and Uranus; (5) rendezvous with Comet Kohoutek and Comet Encke; (6) space tug capabilities; and (7) a Pioneer mission to Mars in 1979. Mission options, limitations, and performance predictions are assessed, along with probable configurational, boost, and propulsion requirements.

  9. Advanced Mirror Technology Development (AMTD) for Very Large Space Telescopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2013-01-01

    Accomplishments include: Assembled outstanding team from academia, industry and government with expertise in science and space telescope engineering. Derived engineering specifications for monolithic primary mirror from science measurement needs & implementation constraints. Pursuing long-term strategy to mature technologies necessary to enable future large aperture space telescopes. Successfully demonstrated capability to make 0.5 m deep mirror substrate and polish it to UVOIR traceable figure specification.

  10. Advanced Life Support Project: Crop Experiments at Kennedy Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sager, John C.; Stutte, Gary W.; Wheeler, Raymond M.; Yorio, Neil

    2004-01-01

    Crop production systems provide bioregenerative technologies to complement human crew life support requirements on long duration space missions. Kennedy Space Center has lead NASA's research on crop production systems that produce high value fresh foods, provide atmospheric regeneration, and perform water processing. As the emphasis on early missions to Mars has developed, our research focused on modular, scalable systems for transit missions, which can be developed into larger autonomous, bioregenerative systems for subsequent surface missions. Components of these scalable systems will include development of efficient light generating or collecting technologies, low mass plant growth chambers, and capability to operate in the high energy background radiation and reduced atmospheric pressures of space. These systems will be integrated with air, water, and thermal subsystems in an operational system. Extensive crop testing has been done for both staple and salad crops, but limited data is available on specific cultivar selection and breadboard testing to meet nominal Mars mission profiles of a 500-600 day surface mission. The recent research emphasis at Kennedy Space Center has shifted from staple crops, such as wheat, soybean and rice, toward short cycle salad crops such as lettuce, onion, radish, tomato, pepper, and strawberry. This paper will review the results of crop experiments to support the Exploration Initiative and the ongoing development of supporting technologies, and give an overview of capabilities of the newly opened Space Life Science (SLS) Lab at Kennedy Space Center. The 9662 square m (104,000 square ft) SLS Lab was built by the State of Florida and supports all NASA research that had been performed in Hanger-L. In addition to NASA research, the SLS Lab houses the Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI), responsible for co-managing the facility, and the University of Florida (UF) has established the Space Agriculture and Biotechnology Research and

  11. Advances in space biology and medicine. Vol. 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonting, Sjoerd L. (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    Topics discussed include the effects of prolonged spaceflights on the human body; skeletal responses to spaceflight; gravity effects on reproduction, development, and aging; neurovestibular physiology in fish; and gravity perception and circumnutation in plants. Attention is also given to the development of higher plants under altered gravitational conditions; the techniques, findings, and theory concerning gravity effects on single cells; protein crystal growth in space; and facilities for animal research in space.

  12. (Video 8 of 8) Omics: Advancing Personalized Medicine from Space to Earth

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) is releasing the video “Omics: Advancing Personalized Medicine from Space to Earth”, to highlight its Twins Study, coinciding with National Twins Days. This is t...

  13. NASA Radioisotope Power Systems Program Update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, B. Alan; Lavery, David B.

    2008-01-01

    The use of Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) represents a critical capability for exploration of the Solar System. RPS have been used for decades to power deep space missions and sometimes for the operation of landers or rovers on Mars. Modest power needs (<~1 KWe) for regions relatively far from the Sun (~>5 AU) make them attractive, and, in most cases, essential for a variety of missions. Even close by, such as on the surface of the Moon or Mars, RPS enhances operational capability. NASA's strategic planning now contemplates more ambitious missions than those of the past, with the likelihood of increasingly severe or more diverse environments in which to contend. We are at a crossroads in the application of radioisotope power, thanks partially to progress made, but also due to the realities of budget constraints and the availability of plutonium-238 fuel. Within a few years, investments in power conversion technologies could yield next generation flight systems with capability for multiple environments, and improved efficiency and specific power. However, for RPS, given the demands on reliability and system longevity (15+years), infusion of any new RPS technology is the challenge. We review progress made during the past year in development of RPS and note applications in NASA's Science Plan (2007).

  14. Reliability Issues in Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2004-01-01

    Stirling power conversion is a potential candidate for use in a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) for space science missions because it offers a multifold increase in the conversion efficiency of heat to electric power and reduced requirement of radioactive material. Reliability of an RPS that utilizes Stirling power conversion technology is important in order to ascertain long term successful performance. Owing to long life time requirement (14 years), it is difficult to perform long-term tests that encompass all the uncertainties involved in the design variables of components and subsystems comprising the RPS. The requirement for uninterrupted performance reliability and related issues are discussed, and some of the critical areas of concern are identified. An overview of the current on-going efforts to understand component life, design variables at the component and system levels, and related sources and nature of uncertainties are also discussed. Current status of the 110 watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) reliability efforts is described. Additionally, an approach showing the use of past experience on other successfully used power systems to develop a reliability plan for the SRG110 design is outlined.

  15. Cosmogenic radioisotopes in Gebel Kamil meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taricco, C.; Colombetti, P.; Bhandari, N.; Sinha, N.; Di Martino, M.; Vivaldo, G.

    2012-04-01

    Recently a small (45 m in diameter) and very young (< 5,000 years) impact crater was discovered in Egypt (Folco et al., 2010, 2011); it was generated by an iron meteorite named Gebel Kamil (Meteoritical Bulletin No. 98, Weisberg et al. 2010). During systematic searches, many specimens were found in the area surrounding the crater. We present the gamma-activity measurement of a 672 g fragment using a highly selective Ge-NaI spectrometer operating at Monte dei Cappuccini Laboratory (IFSI, INAF) in Torino, Italy. This apparatus allows to reveal the radioisotope activity generated by cosmic rays in the meteoroids as they travel through the interplanetary space before falling on the Earth. From the 26Al activity measurement and its depth production profiles, we infer (i) that the radius of the meteoroid should be about 1 m, constraining to 30-40 ton the range of pre-atmospheric mass previously proposed and (ii) that the fragment should have been located deeply inside the meteoroid, at a depth > 0.7 m. The 44Ti activity is under the detection threshold of the apparatus; using the depth production profiles of this radioisotope and its half-life T1/2 = 59.2 y, we deduce an upper limit to the date of fall.

  16. Advanced Stirling Convertor Update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Carroll, Cliff; Matejczyk, Dan; Penswick, L. B.; Soendker, E.

    2006-01-01

    This paper reports on the 88 We Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) currently being developed under Phase II of a NASA NRA program for possible use in advanced high specific power radioisotope space power systems. An early developmental unit, the Frequency Test Bed (FTB) which was built and tested in Phase I demonstrated 36% efficiency. The ASC-1 currently being developed under Phase II, uses a high temperature heater head to allow for operation at 850 °C and is expected to have an efficiency approaching 40% (based on AC electrical out) at a temperature ratio of 3.1. The final lightweight ASC-2 convertor to be developed in Phase III is expected to have a mass of approximately 1 kg. The implementation of the ASC would allow for much higher specific power radioisotope power systems, requiring significantly less radioisotope fuel than current systems. The first run of the ASC-1 occurred in September 2005, and full temperature operation was achieved in early October 2005. Presented is an update on progress on the ASC program as well as the plans for future development. Also presented are efforts being performed to ensure the ASC has the required long life already demonstrated in free-piston Stirling cryocoolers.

  17. High temperature superconductivity technology for advanced space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Faymon, Karl A.; Myers, Ira T.; Connolly, Denis J.

    1990-01-01

    In 1987, the Lewis Research center of the NASA and the Argonne National Laboratory of the Department of Energy joined in a cooperative program to identify and assess high payoff space and aeronautical applications of high temperature superconductivity (HTSC). The initial emphasis of this effort was limited, and those space power related applications which were considered included microwave power transmission and magnetic energy storage. The results of these initial studies were encouraging and indicated the need of further studies. A continuing collaborative program with Argonne National Laboratory has been formulated and the Lewis Research Center is presently structuring a program to further evaluate HTSC, identify applications and define the requisite technology development programs for space power systems. This paper discusses some preliminary results of the previous evaluations in the area of space power applications of HTSC which were carried out under the joint NASA-DOE program, the future NASA-Lewis proposed program, its thrusts, and its intended outputs and give general insights on the anticipated impact of HTSC for space power applications of the future.

  18. Graphite/Polyimide Composites. [conference on Composites for Advanced Space Transportation Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dexter, H. B. (Editor); Davis, J. G., Jr. (Editor)

    1979-01-01

    Technology developed under the Composites for Advanced Space Transportation System Project is reported. Specific topics covered include fabrication, adhesives, test methods, structural integrity, design and analysis, advanced technology developments, high temperature polymer research, and the state of the art of graphite/polyimide composites.

  19. Advanced transportation concept for round-trip space travel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Chen-Wan L.

    1988-01-01

    A departure from the conventional concept of round-trip space travel is introduced. It is shown that a substantial reduction in the initial load required of the Shuttle or other launch vehicle can be achieved by staging the ascent orbit and leaving fuel for the return trip at each stage of the orbit. Examples of round trips from a low-inclination LEO to a high-inclination LEO and from an LEO to a GEO are used to show the merits of the new concept. Potential problem areas and research needed for the development of an efficient space transportation network are discussed.

  20. Advanced Thin Film Solar Arrays for Space: The Terrestrial Legacy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailey, Sheila; Hepp, Aloysius; Raffaelle, Ryne; Flood, Dennis

    2001-01-01

    As in the case for single crystal solar cells, the first serious thin film solar cells were developed for space applications with the promise of better power to weight ratios and lower cost. Future science, military, and commercial space missions are incredibly diverse. Military and commercial missions encompass both hundreds of kilowatt arrays to tens of watt arrays in various earth orbits. While science missions also have small to very large power needs there are additional unique requirements to provide power for near sun missions and planetary exploration including orbiters, landers, and rovers both to the inner planets and the outer planets with a major emphasis in the near term on Mars. High power missions are particularly attractive for thin film utilization. These missions are generally those involving solar electric propulsion, surface power systems to sustain an outpost or a permanent colony on the surface of the Moon or Mars, space based lasers or radar, or large Earth orbiting power stations which can serve as central utilities for other orbiting spacecraft, or potentially beaming power to the Earth itself. This paper will discuss the current state of the art of thin film solar cells and the synergy with terrestrial thin film photovoltaic evolution. It will also address some of the technology development issues required to make thin film photovoltaics a viable choice for future space power systems.

  1. Advanced Hall Electric Propulsion for Future In-space Transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; Sankovic, John M.

    2001-01-01

    The Hall thruster is an electric propulsion device used for multiple in-space applications including orbit raising, on-orbit maneuvers, and de-orbit functions. These in-space propulsion functions are currently performed by toxic hydrazine monopropellant or hydrazine derivative/nitrogen tetroxide bi-propellant thrusters. The Hall thruster operates nominally in the 1500 sec specific impulse regime. It provides greater thrust to power than conventional gridded ion engines, thus reducing trip times and operational life when compared to that technology in Earth orbit applications. The technology in the far term, by adding a second acceleration stage, has shown promise of providing over 4000s Isp, the regime of the gridded ion engine and necessary for deep space applications. The Hall thruster system consists of three parts, the thruster, the power processor, and the propellant system. The technology is operational and commercially available at the 1.5 kW power level and 5 kW application is underway. NASA is looking toward 10 kW and eventually 50 kW-class engines for ambitious space transportation applications. The former allows launch vehicle step-down for GEO missions and demanding planetary missions such as Europa Lander, while the latter allows quick all-electric propulsion LEO to GEO transfers and non-nuclear transportation human Mars missions.

  2. Technology assessment of advanced automation for space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Six general classes of technology requirements derived during the mission definition phase of the study were identified as having maximum importance and urgency, including autonomous world model based information systems, learning and hypothesis formation, natural language and other man-machine communication, space manufacturing, teleoperators and robot systems, and computer science and technology.

  3. Overview of the NASA Advanced In-Space Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaPointe, Michael

    2011-01-01

    In FY11, NASA established the Enabling Technologies Development and Demonstration (ETDD) Program, a follow on to the earlier Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) within the NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Objective: Develop, mature and test enabling technologies for human space exploration.

  4. Space-Data Routers: Advanced data routing protocols for enhancing data exploitation for space weather applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anastasiadis, Anastasios; Daglis, Ioannis A.; Balasis, George; Papadimitriou, Constantinos; Tsaoussidis, Vassilios; Diamantopoulos, Sotirios

    2014-05-01

    Data sharing and access are major issues in space sciences, as they influence the degree of data exploitation. The availability of multi-spacecraft distributed observation methods and adaptive mission architectures require computationally intensive analysis methods. Moreover, accurate space weather forecasting and future space exploration far from Earth will be in need of real-time data distribution and assimilation technologies. The FP7-Space collaborative research project "Space-Data Routers" (SDR) relies on space internetworking and in particular on Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN), which marks the new era in space communications. SDR unifies space and earth communication infrastructures and delivers a set of tools and protocols for space-data exploitation. The main goal is to allow space agencies, academic institutes and research centers to share space-data generated by single or multiple missions, in an efficient, secure and automated manner. Here we are presenting the architecture and basic functionality of a DTN-based application specifically designed in the framework of the SDR project, for data query, retrieval and administration that will enable addressing outstanding science questions related to space weather, through the provision of simultaneous real-time data sampling at multiple points in space. The work leading to this paper has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-SPACE-2010-1) under grant agreement no. 263330 for the SDR (Space-Data Routers for Exploiting Space Data) collaborative research project. This paper reflects only the authors' views and the Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

  5. Advanced missions safety. Volume 3: Appendices. Part 1: Space shuttle rescue capability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The space shuttle rescue capability is analyzed as a part of the advanced mission safety study. The subjects discussed are: (1) mission evaluation, (2) shuttle configurations and performance, (3) performance of shuttle-launched tug system, (4) multiple pass grazing reentry from lunar orbit, (5) ground launched ascent and rendezvous time, (6) cost estimates, and (7) parallel-burn space shuttle configuration.

  6. Space station as a vital focus for advancing the technologies of automation and robotics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varsi, Giulio; Herman, Daniel H.

    1988-01-01

    A major guideline for the design of the U.S. Space Station is that the Space Station address a wide variety of functions. These functions include the servicing of unmanned assets in space, the support of commercial labs in space and the efficient management of the Space Station itself; the largest space asset. The technologies of Automation and Robotics have the promise to help in reducing Space Station operating costs and to achieve a highly efficient use of the human in space. The use of advanced automation and artificial intelligence techniques, such as expert systems, in Space Station subsystems for activity planning and failure mode management will enable us to reduce dependency on a mission control center and could ultimately result in breaking the umbilical link from Earth to the Space Station. The application of robotic technologies with advanced perception capability and hierarchical intelligent control to servicing system will enable the servicing of assets either in space or in situ with a high degree of human efficiency. The results of studies leading toward the formulation of an automation and robotics plan for Space Station development are presented.

  7. System design analyses of a rotating advanced-technology space station for the year 2025

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Queijo, M. J.; Butterfield, A. J.; Cuddihy, W. F.; Stone, R. W.; Wrobel, J. R.; Garn, P. A.; King, C. B.

    1988-01-01

    Studies of an advanced technology space station configured to implement subsystem technologies projected for availability in the time period 2000 to 2025 is documented. These studies have examined the practical synergies in operational performance available through subsystem technology selection and identified the needs for technology development. Further analyses are performed on power system alternates, momentum management and stabilization, electrothermal propulsion, composite materials and structures, launch vehicle alternates, and lunar and planetary missions. Concluding remarks are made regarding the advanced technology space station concept, its intersubsystem synergies, and its system operational subsystem advanced technology development needs.

  8. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP): A Near-Term Approach to Nuclear Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George R.; Manzella, David H.; Kamhawi, Hani; Kremic, Tibor; Oleson, Steven R.; Dankanich, John W.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.

    2009-01-01

    Studies over the last decade have shown radioisotope-based nuclear electric propulsion to be enhancing and, in some cases, enabling for many potential robotic science missions. Also known as radioisotope electric propulsion (REP), the technology offers the performance advantages of traditional reactor-powered electric propulsion (i.e., high specific impulse propulsion at large distances from the Sun), but with much smaller, affordable spacecraft. Future use of REP requires development of radioisotope power sources with system specific powers well above that of current systems. The US Department of Energy and NASA have developed an advanced Stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG) engineering unit, which was subjected to rigorous flight qualification-level tests in 2008, and began extended lifetime testing later that year. This advancement, along with recent work on small ion thrusters and life extension technology for Hall thrusters, could enable missions using REP sometime during the next decade.

  9. Analysis of a rotating advanced-technology space station for the year 2025

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Queijo, M. J.; Butterfield, A. J.; Cuddihy, W. F.; King, C. B.; Stone, R. W.; Garn, P. A.

    1988-01-01

    An analysis is made of several aspects of an advanced-technology rotating space station configuration generated under a previous study. The analysis includes examination of several modifications of the configuration, interface with proposed launch systems, effects of low-gravity environment on human subjects, and the space station assembly sequence. Consideration was given also to some aspects of space station rotational dynamics, surface charging, and the possible application of tethers.

  10. Report on Advanced Life Support Activities at Kennedy Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2004-01-01

    Plant studies at Kennedy Space Center last year focused on selecting cultivars of lettuce, tomato, and pepper for further testing as crops for near-term space flight applications. Other testing continued with lettuce, onion, and radish plants grown at different combinations of light (PPF), temperature, and CO2 concentration. In addition, comparisons of mixed versus mono culture approaches for vegetable production were studied. Water processing testing focused on the development and testing of a rotating membrane bioreactor to increase oxygen diffusion levels for reducing total organic carbon levels and promoting nitrification. Other testing continued to study composting testing for food wastes (NRA grant) and the use of supplemental green light with red/blue LED lighting systems for plant production (NRC fellowship).

  11. Advanced MCT technologies at LETI for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durand, A.; Destefanis, G.; Gravrand, O.; Rothmann, J.

    This document is a recap of an oral presentation made at Nice during the INSU Astrophysics Detector Workshop 2008. It aims at giving an overview of the achievements and ongoing developments presently carried out at CEA-LETI in the field of Infrared focal plane array. Although most of the research actually performed at LETI is not driven by space oriented application, the excellence and the cutting edge of the outcome is or can be applied to space-dedicated components. This paper focus on features and developments from which astrophysics observation would benefit in the near future on the European market. This encompassed “traditionnal” developments such as format enlargement, low dark current technology such as p/n structure but it also shade light on promising and thrilling development such as avalanche photodiode array. It eventually gives some hints of none MCT technologies processed at LETI.

  12. Advanced Cosmic Ray Composition Experiment for Space Station (ACCESS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Thomas L.; Wefel, John P.

    1999-01-01

    In 1994 the first high-energy particle physics experiment for the Space Station, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), was selected by NASA's Administrator as a joint collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The AMS program was chartered to place a magnetic spectrometer in Earth orbit and search for cosmic antimatter. A natural consequence of this decision was that NASA would begin to explore cost-effective ways through which the design and implementation of AMS might benefit other promising payload experiments which were evolving from the Office of Space Science. The first such experiment to come forward was ACCESS in 1996. It was proposed as a new mission concept in space physics to place a cosmic-ray experiment of weight, volume, and geometry similar to the AMS on the ISS, and replace the latter as its successor when the AMS is returned to Earth. This was to be an extension of NASA's sub-orbital balloon program, with balloon payloads serving as the precursor flights and heritage for ACCESS. The balloon programs have always been a cost-effective NASA resource since the particle physics instrumentation for balloon and space applications are directly related. The next step was to expand the process, pooling together expertise from various NASA centers and universities while opening up definition of the ACCESS science goals to the international community through the standard practice of peer-review. This process is still on-going and the Accommodation Study presented here will discuss the baseline definition of ACCESS as we understand it today. Further detail on the history, scope, and background of the study is provided in Appendix A.

  13. Advanced development for space robotics with emphasis on fault tolerance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tesar, D.; Chladek, J.; Hooper, R.; Sreevijayan, D.; Kapoor, C.; Geisinger, J.; Meaney, M.; Browning, G.; Rackers, K.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes the ongoing work in fault tolerance at the University of Texas at Austin. The paper describes the technical goals the group is striving to achieve and includes a brief description of the individual projects focusing on fault tolerance. The ultimate goal is to develop and test technology applicable to all future missions of NASA (lunar base, Mars exploration, planetary surveillance, space station, etc.).

  14. Advanced Deuterium Fusion Rocket Propulsion for Manned Deep Space Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winterberg, F.

    Excluding speculations about future breakthrough discoveries in physics, it is shown that with what is at present known, and also what is technically feasible, manned space flight to the limits of the solar system and beyond deep into the Oort cloud is quite possible. Using deuterium as the rocket fuel of choice, abundantly available on the comets of the Oort cloud, rockets driven by deuterium fusion can there be refuelled. To obtain a high thrust with high specific impulse favours the propulsion by deuterium micro-bombs, and it is shown that the ignition of deuterium micro-bombs is possible by intense GeV proton beams, generated in space by using the entire spacecraft as a magnetically insulated billion volt capacitor. The cost to develop this kind of a propulsion system in space would be very high, but it can also be developed on Earth by a magnetically insulated Super Marx Generator. Since the ignition of deuterium is theoretically possible with the Super Marx Generator, making obsolete the ignition of deuterium-tritium with a laser, where 80% of the energy goes into neutrons, this would also mean a breakthrough in fusion research, and therefore would justify the large development costs.

  15. Space dusty plasmas: recent developments, advances, and unsolved problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popel, Sergey; Zelenyi, Lev

    2016-07-01

    The area of space dusty plasma research is a vibrant subfield of plasma physics that belongs to frontier research in physical sciences. This area is intrinsically interdisciplinary and encompasses astrophysics, planetary science, and atmospheric science. Dusty plasmas are ubiquitous in the universe; examples are proto-planetary and solar nebulae, molecular clouds, supernovae explosions, interplanetary medium, circumsolar rings, and asteroids. Within the solar system, we have planetary rings (e.g., Saturn and Jupiter), Martian atmosphere, cometary tails and comae, dust at the Moon, etc. Dust and dusty plasmas are also found in the vicinity of artificial satellites and space stations. The present review covers the main aspects of the area of space dusty plasma research. Emphasis is given to the description of dusty plasmas at the Moon which is important from the viewpoint of the future lunar missions and lunar observatory. This work was supported in part by the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences (under Fundamental Research Program No. 7, "Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Solar System Objects and Stellar Planet Systems. Transient Explosion Processes in Astrophysics" and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Project No. 15-02-05627-a).

  16. HFIR-produced medical radioisotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Mirzadeh, S.; Knapp, F.F. Jr.; Beets, A.L.; Alexander, C.W.

    1997-12-01

    We have experimentally determined the yields of a number of medical radioisotopes produced in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) Hydraulic Tube (HT) facility. The HT facility is located in the very high flux region in the flux trap of the reactor, providing on-line access capability while the reactor is operating. The HT facility consists of nine vertically stacked capsules centered just adjacent to the core horizontal midplane. HFIR operates at a nominal power level of 85 MW. The capabilities of the HFIR-HT facilities offer increased efficiency, greater availability, and optimization of radioisotope production, and, as a result, the conservation of rare or expensive target isotopes.

  17. Advanced Technology Development for Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2004-01-01

    A high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope generator (SRG) for use on potential NASA space missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company, and NASA Glenn Research Center. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling converters, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the converter.The status and results to date will be discussed in this paper.

  18. Advanced Mirror Technology Development (AMTD) for Very Large Space Telescopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2014-01-01

    Advanced Mirror Technology Development (AMTD) is a multi-year effort to systematically mature to TRL-6 the critical technologies needed to produce 4-m or larger flight-qualified UVOIR mirrors by 2018 so that a viable mission can be considered by the 2020 Decadal Review. This technology must enable missions capable of both general astrophysics & ultra-high contrast observations of exoplanets. To accomplish our objective, We use a science-driven systems engineering approach. We mature technologies required to enable the highest priority science AND result in a high-performance low-cost low-risk system.

  19. An in-cell alpha detection system for radioisotope component assembly operations

    SciTech Connect

    Carteret, B.A. ); Goles, R.W. )

    1991-09-01

    A remotely operated alpha detection system is being developed for use at the Radioisotope Power Systems Facility at the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site. It will be used in hot cells being constructed to assemble components of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators for space power applications. The in-cell detection equipment will survey radiological swipe samples to determine smearable surface contamination levels on radioisotope fuel, fueled components, and hot-cell work areas. This system is potentially adaptable to other hot cell and glovebox applications where radiation dose rates and contamination levels are expected to be low. 2 figs.

  20. Advanced technology for Space Shuttle Auxiliary Propellant Valves.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wichmann, H.

    1972-01-01

    Propellant shutoff valves required for the operation of the pulse modulated gaseous hydrogen/gaseous oxygen rocket engines for the Space Shuttle Auxiliary Propulsion System are specified to operate for one million cycles over a ten-year period with zero maintenance, very fast response, very low leakage, and over a wide temperature range. Based on an analytical leakage and wear model, sealing configurations were conceived, sized, and developed. Two prototype valves featuring different components were designed, built, and evaluated for 100,000 cycles. Design concepts and test results are presented.

  1. Inertial energy storage for advanced space station applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Tassel, K. E.; Simon, W. E.

    1985-01-01

    Because the NASA Space Station will spend approximately one-third of its orbital time in the earth's shadow, depriving it of solar energy and requiring an energy storage system to meet system demands, attention has been given to flywheel energy storage systems. These systems promise high mechanical efficiency, long life, light weight, flexible design, and easily monitored depth of discharge. An assessment is presently made of three critical technology areas: rotor materials, magnetic suspension bearings, and motor-generators for energy conversion. Conclusions are presented regarding the viability of inertial energy storage systems and of problem areas requiring further technology development efforts.

  2. Advanced microelectronics research for space applications, phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaertner, W. W.

    1971-01-01

    Negative-resistance circuits with possible space flight applications are discussed. The basic design approach is to use impedance rotation, i.e., the conversion from capacitance to negative resistance, and from resistance to inductance by the phase shift of the transistor current gain at high frequencies. The subjects discussed in detail are the following: hybrid fabrication of VHF and UHF negative-resistance stages with lumped passive elements; formulation of measurement techniques to characterize transistors and to extend the frequency of negative-resistance transistor amplifiers to higher microwave frequencies; and derivation of transistor characteristics required to increase the frequency range of negative-resistance transistor stages.

  3. Advanced UVOIR Mirror Technology Development for Very Large Space Telescopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2011-01-01

    Objective of this work is to define and initiate a long-term program to mature six inter-linked critical technologies for future UVOIR space telescope mirrors to TRL6 by 2018 so that a viable flight mission can be proposed to the 2020 Decadal Review. (1) Large-Aperture, Low Areal Density, High Stiffness Mirrors: 4 to 8 m monolithic & 8 to 16 m segmented primary mirrors require larger, thicker, stiffer substrates. (2) Support System:Large-aperture mirrors require large support systems to ensure that they survive launch and deploy on orbit in a stress-free and undistorted shape. (3) Mid/High Spatial Frequency Figure Error:A very smooth mirror is critical for producing a high-quality point spread function (PSF) for high-contrast imaging. (4) Segment Edges:Edges impact PSF for high-contrast imaging applications, contributes to stray light noise, and affects the total collecting aperture. (5) Segment-to-Segment Gap Phasing:Segment phasing is critical for producing a high-quality temporally stable PSF. (6) Integrated Model Validation:On-orbit performance is determined by mechanical and thermal stability. Future systems require validated performance models. We are pursuing multiple design paths give the science community the option to enable either a future monolithic or segmented space telescope.

  4. HTS Magnets for Advanced Magnetoplasma Space Propulsion Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Carte, M.D.; Chang-Diaz, F.R. Squire, J.P.; Schwenterly, S.W.

    1999-07-12

    Plasma rockets are being considered for both Earth-orbit and interplanetary missions because their extremely high exhaust velocity and ability to modulate thrust allow very efficient use of propellant mass. In such rockets, a hydrogen or helium plasma is RF-heated and confined by axial magnetic fields produced by coils around the plasma chamber. HTS coils cooled by the propellant are desirable to increase the energy efficiency of the system. We describe a set of prototype high-temperature superconducting (HTS) coils that are being considered for the VASIMR ( Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) thruster proposed for testing on the Radiation Technology Demonstration (RTD) satellite. Since this satellite will be launched by the Space Shuttle, for safety reasons liquid helium will be used as propellant and coolant. The coils must be designed to operate in the space environment at field levels of 1 T. This generates a unique set of requirements. Details of the overall winding geometry and current density, as well as the challenging thermal control aspects associated with a compact, minimum weight design will be discussed.

  5. Advanced Space Nuclear Reactors from Fiction to Reality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popa-Simil, L.

    The advanced nuclear power sources are used in a large variety of science fiction movies and novels, but their practical development is, still, in its early conceptual stages, some of the ideas being confirmed by collateral experiments. The novel reactor concept uses the direct conversion of nuclear energy into electricity, has electronic control of reactivity, being surrounded by a transmutation blanket and very thin shielding being small and light that at its very limit may be suitable to power an autonomously flying car. It also provides an improved fuel cycle producing minimal negative impact to environment. The key elements started to lose the fiction attributes, becoming viable actual concepts and goals for the developments to come, and on the possibility to achieve these objectives started to become more real because the theory shows that using the novel nano-technologies this novel reactor might be achievable in less than a century.

  6. Solid rocket technology advancements for space tug and IUS applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ascher, W.; Bailey, R. L.; Behm, J. W.; Gin, W.

    1975-01-01

    In order for the shuttle tug or interim upper stage (IUS) to capture all the missions in the current mission model for the tug and the IUS, an auxiliary or kick stage, using a solid propellant rocket motor, is required. Two solid propellant rocket motor technology concepts are described. One concept, called the 'advanced propulsion module' motor, is an 1800-kg, high-mass-fraction motor, which is single-burn and contains Class 2 propellent. The other concept, called the high energy upper stage restartable solid, is a two-burn (stop-restartable on command) motor which at present contains 1400 kg of Class 7 propellant. The details and status of the motor design and component and motor test results to date are presented, along with the schedule for future work.

  7. The Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST): Science Drivers and Technology Developments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Postman, Marc; Brown, Tom; Sembach, Kenneth; Giavalisco, Mauro; Traub, Wesley; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Calzetti, Daniela; Oegerle, William; Rich, R. Michael; Stahl, H. Phillip; Tumlinson, Jason; Mountain, Matt; Soummer, Remi; Hyde, Tupper

    2011-01-01

    The Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST) is a concept for an 8-meter to 16-meter UVOIR space observatory for launch in the 2025-2030 era. ATLAST will allow astronomers to answer fundamental questions at the forefront of modern astrophysics, including "Is there life elsewhere in the Galaxy?" We present a range of science drivers and the resulting performance requirements for ATLAST (8 to 16 milliarcsecond angular resolution, diffraction limited imaging at 0.5 m wavelength, minimum collecting area of 45 square meters, high sensitivity to light wavelengths from 0.1 m to 2.4 m, high stability in wavefront sensing and control). We also discuss the priorities for technology development needed to enable the construction of ATLAST for a cost that is comparable to current generation observatory-class space missions. Keywords: Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST); ultraviolet/optical space telescopes; astrophysics; astrobiology; technology development.

  8. Advances in polycrystalline thin-film photovoltaics for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lanning, Bruce R.; Armstrong, Joseph H.; Misra, Mohan S.

    1994-01-01

    Polycrystalline, thin-film photovoltaics represent one of the few (if not the only) renewable power sources which has the potential to satisfy the demanding technical requirements for future space applications. The demand in space is for deployable, flexible arrays with high power-to-weight ratios and long-term stability (15-20 years). In addition, there is also the demand that these arrays be produced by scalable, low-cost, high yield, processes. An approach to significantly reduce costs and increase reliability is to interconnect individual cells series via monolithic integration. Both CIS and CdTe semiconductor films are optimum absorber materials for thin-film n-p heterojunction solar cells, having band gaps between 0.9-1.5 ev and demonstrated small area efficiencies, with cadmium sulfide window layers, above 16.5 percent. Both CIS and CdTe polycrystalline thin-film cells have been produced on a laboratory scale by a variety of physical and chemical deposition methods, including evaporation, sputtering, and electrodeposition. Translating laboratory processes which yield these high efficiency, small area cells into the design of a manufacturing process capable of producing 1-sq ft modules, however, requires a quantitative understanding of each individual step in the process and its (each step) effect on overall module performance. With a proper quantification and understanding of material transport and reactivity for each individual step, manufacturing process can be designed that is not 'reactor-specific' and can be controlled intelligently with the design parameters of the process. The objective of this paper is to present an overview of the current efforts at MMC to develop large-scale manufacturing processes for both CIS and CdTe thin-film polycrystalline modules. CIS cells/modules are fabricated in a 'substrate configuration' by physical vapor deposition techniques and CdTe cells/modules are fabricated in a 'superstrate configuration' by wet chemical

  9. Advances in polycrystalline thin-film photovoltaics for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanning, Bruce R.; Armstrong, Joseph H.; Misra, Mohan S.

    1994-09-01

    Polycrystalline, thin-film photovoltaics represent one of the few (if not the only) renewable power sources which has the potential to satisfy the demanding technical requirements for future space applications. The demand in space is for deployable, flexible arrays with high power-to-weight ratios and long-term stability (15-20 years). In addition, there is also the demand that these arrays be produced by scalable, low-cost, high yield, processes. An approach to significantly reduce costs and increase reliability is to interconnect individual cells series via monolithic integration. Both CIS and CdTe semiconductor films are optimum absorber materials for thin-film n-p heterojunction solar cells, having band gaps between 0.9-1.5 ev and demonstrated small area efficiencies, with cadmium sulfide window layers, above 16.5 percent. Both CIS and CdTe polycrystalline thin-film cells have been produced on a laboratory scale by a variety of physical and chemical deposition methods, including evaporation, sputtering, and electrodeposition. Translating laboratory processes which yield these high efficiency, small area cells into the design of a manufacturing process capable of producing 1-sq ft modules, however, requires a quantitative understanding of each individual step in the process and its (each step) effect on overall module performance. With a proper quantification and understanding of material transport and reactivity for each individual step, manufacturing process can be designed that is not 'reactor-specific' and can be controlled intelligently with the design parameters of the process. The objective of this paper is to present an overview of the current efforts at MMC to develop large-scale manufacturing processes for both CIS and CdTe thin-film polycrystalline modules. CIS cells/modules are fabricated in a 'substrate configuration' by physical vapor deposition techniques and CdTe cells/modules are fabricated in a 'superstrate configuration' by wet chemical

  10. Advanced robotics for in-space vehicle processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Jeffrey H.

    1990-01-01

    An analysis of spaceborne vehicle processing is described. Generic crew-extravehicular activity tasks are presented for a specific vehicle, the orbital maneuvering vehicle (OMV), with general implications to other on-orbit vehicles. The OMV is examined with respect to both servicing and maintenance. Crew-EVA activities are presented by task and mapped to a common set of generic crew-EVA primitives to identify high-demand areas for robot services. Similarly, a set of robot primitives is presented that can be used to model robot actions for alternative robot reference configurations. The robot primitives are tied to technologies and used for composing robot operations for an automated refueling scenario. Robotics technology issues and design accommodation guidelines (hooks and scars) for Space Station Freedom are described.

  11. Some advances in U. S. space defense systems

    SciTech Connect

    Rongrui, W.

    1991-12-10

    This article, by way of a simple summary, introduces certain aspects of the U.S. Star Wars program which have undergone developments recently as well as experimentation planned in the future. In 1984, the U.S. Defense Department set up a Strategic Defense authority in order to carry out the Star Wars Program and put vigorous effort into the development of directed energy weapon, kinetic energy weapons, as well as research on a set of technologies such as early warning, aiming, tracking, and target recognition. This article, on the basis of openly published U.S. sources, takes a comprehensive look at the status of several areas of development in U.S. space defense systems.

  12. Recent advances in structural dynamics of large space structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pinson, Larry D.

    1987-01-01

    Recent progress in the area of structural dynamics of large space structures is reviewed. Topics include system identification, large angle slewing of flexible structures, definition of scaling limitations in structural models, and recent results on a tension-stabilized antenna concept known as the hoop-column. Increasingly complex laboratory experiments guide most of the activities leading to realistic technological developments. Theoretical progress in system identification based on system realization theory resulting in unification of several methods is reviewed. Experimental results from implementation of a theoretical large-angle slewing control approach are shown. Status and results of the development of a research computer program for analysis of the transient dynamics of large angle motion of flexible structures are presented. Correlation of results from analysis and vibration tests of the hoop-column antenna concept are summarized.

  13. Advanced Robotics for In-Space Vehicle Processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Jeffrey H.; Estus, Jay; Heneghan, Cate; Bosley, John

    1990-01-01

    An analysis of spaceborne vehicle processing is described. Generic crew-EVA tasks are presented for a specific vehicle, the orbital maneuvering vehicle (OMV), with general implications to other on-orbit vehicles. The OMV is examined with respect to both servicing and maintenance. Crew-EVA activities are presented by task and mapped to a common set of generic crew-EVA primitives to identify high-demand areas for telerobot services. Similarly, a set of telerobot primitives is presented that can be used to model telerobot actions for alternative telerobot reference configurations. The telerobot primitives are tied to technologies and used for composting telerobot operations for an automated refueling scenario. Telerobotics technology issues and design accomodation guidelines (hooks and scars) for the Space Station Freedom are described.

  14. Proposed advanced satellite applications utilizing space nuclear power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailey, Patrick G.; Isenberg, Lon

    1990-01-01

    A review of the status of space nuclear reactor systems and their possible applications is presented. Such systems have been developed over the past twenty years and are capable of use in various military and civilian applications in the 5-1000-kWe power range. The capabilities and limitations of the currently proposed nuclear reactor systems are summarized. Statements of need are presented from DoD, DOE, and NASA. Safety issues are identified, and if they are properly addressed they should not pose a hindrance. Applications are summarized for the DoD, DOE, NASA, and the civilian community. These applications include both low- and high-altitude satellite surveillance missions, communications satellites, planetary probes, low- and high-power lunar and planetary base power systems, broadband global telecommunications, air traffic control, and high-definition television.

  15. Recent advances in structural dynamics of large space structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pinson, Larry D.

    1987-01-01

    Recent progress in the area of structural dynamics of large space structures is reviewed. Topics include system identification, large angle slewing of flexible structures, definition of scaling limitations in structural models, and recent results on a tension-stabilized antenna concept known as the hoop-column. Increasingly complex laboratory experiments guide most of the activities leading to realistic technological developments. Theoretical progress in system identification based on system realization theory resulting in unification of several methods is reviewed. Experimental results from implementation of a theoretical large-angle slewing control approach are shown. Status and results of the development of a research computer program for analysis of the transient dynamics of large angle motion of flexible structures are presented. Correlation of results from analysis and vibration tests of the hoop-column antenna concepts are summarized.

  16. Advancements in water vapor electrolysis technology. [for Space Station ECLSS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chullen, Cinda; Heppner, Dennis B.; Sudar, Martin

    1988-01-01

    The paper describes a technology development program whose goal is to develop water vapor electrolysis (WVE) hardware that can be used selectively as localized topping capability in areas of high metabolic activity without oversizing the central air revitalization system on long-duration manned space missions. The WVE will be used primarily to generate O2 for the crew cabin but also to provide partial humidity control by removing water vapor from the cabin atmosphere. The electrochemically based WVE interfaces with cabin air which is controlled in the following ranges: dry bulb temperature of 292 to 300 K; dew point temperature of 278 to 289 K; relative humidity of 25 to 75 percent; and pressure of 101 + or - 1.4 kPa. Design requirements, construction details, and results for both single-cell and multicell module testing are presented, and the preliminary sizing of a multiperson subsystem is discussed.

  17. Advances in polycrystalline thin-film photovoltaics for space applications

    SciTech Connect

    Lanning, B.R.; Armstrong, J.H.; Misra, M.S.

    1994-09-01

    Polycrystalline, thin-film photovoltaics represent one of the few (if not the only) renewable power sources which has the potential to satisfy the demanding technical requirements for future space applications. The demand in space is for deployable, flexible arrays with high power-to-weight ratios and long-term stability (15-20 years). In addition, there is also the demand that these arrays be produced by scalable, low-cost, high yield, processes. An approach to significantly reduce costs and increase reliability is to interconnect individual cells series via monolithic integration. Both CIS and CdTe semiconductor films are optimum absorber materials for thin-film n-p heterojunction solar cells, having band gaps between 0.9-1.5 eV and demonstrated small area efficiencies, with cadmium sulfide window layers, above 16.5 percent. Both CIS and CdTe polycrystalline thin-film cells have been produced on a laboratory scale by a variety of physical and chemical deposition methods, including evaporation, sputtering, and electrodeposition. Translating laboratory processes which yield these high efficiency, small area cells into the design of a manufacturing process capable of producing 1-sq ft modules, however, requires a quantitative understanding of each individual step in the process and its effect on overall module performance. With a proper quantification and understanding of material transport and reactivity for each individual step, manufacturing process can be designed that is not `reactor-specific` and can be controlled intelligently with the design parameters of the process. The objective of this paper is to present an overview of the current efforts at MMC to develop large-scale manufacturing processes for both CIS and CdTe thin-film polycrystalline modules. CIS cells/modules are fabricated in a `substrate configuration` by physical vapor deposition techniques and CdTe cells/modules are fabricated in a `superstrate configuration` by wet chemical methods.

  18. Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Summer Conference: NASA/USRA University Advanced Aeronautics Design Program and Advanced Space Design Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    The NASA/USRA University Advanced Design Program was established in 1984 as an attempt to add more and better design education to primarily undergraduate engineering programs. The original focus of the pilot program encompassing nine universities and five NASA centers was on space design. Two years later, the program was expanded to include aeronautics design with six universities and three NASA centers participating. This year marks the last of a three-year cycle of participation by forty-one universities, eight NASA centers, and one industry participant. The Advanced Space Design Program offers universities an opportunity to plan and design missions and hardware that would be of usc in the future as NASA enters a new era of exploration and discovery, while the Advanced Aeronautics Design Program generally offers opportunities for study of design problems closer to the present time, ranging from small, slow-speed vehicles to large, supersonic and hypersonic passenger transports. The systems approach to the design problem is emphasized in both the space and aeronautics projects. The student teams pursue the chosen problem during their senior year in a one- or two-semester capstone design course and submit a comprehensive written report at the conclusion of the project. Finally, student representatives from each of the universities summarize their work in oral presentations at the Annual Summer Conference, sponsored by one of the NASA centers and attended by the university faculty, NASA and USRA personnel and aerospace industry representatives. As the Advanced Design Program has grown in size, it has also matured in terms of the quality of the student projects. The present volume represents the student work accomplished during the 1992-1993 academic year reported at the Ninth Annual Summer Conference hosted by NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, June 14-18, 1993.

  19. Advanced Modular Power Approach to Affordable, Supportable Space Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oeftering, Richard C.; Kimnach, Greg L.; Fincannon, James; Mckissock,, Barbara I.; Loyselle, Patricia L.; Wong, Edmond

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies of missions to the Moon, Mars and Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) indicate that these missions often involve several distinct separately launched vehicles that must ultimately be integrated together in-flight and operate as one unit. Therefore, it is important to see these vehicles as elements of a larger segmented spacecraft rather than separate spacecraft flying in formation. The evolution of large multi-vehicle exploration architecture creates the need (and opportunity) to establish a global power architecture that is common across all vehicles. The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Modular Power System (AMPS) project managed by NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is aimed at establishing the modular power system architecture that will enable power systems to be built from a common set of modular building blocks. The project is developing, demonstrating and evaluating key modular power technologies that are expected to minimize non-recurring development costs, reduce recurring integration costs, as well as, mission operational and support costs. Further, modular power is expected to enhance mission flexibility, vehicle reliability, scalability and overall mission supportability. The AMPS project not only supports multi-vehicle architectures but should enable multi-mission capability as well. The AMPS technology development involves near term demonstrations involving developmental prototype vehicles and field demonstrations. These operational demonstrations not only serve as a means of evaluating modular technology but also provide feedback to developers that assure that they progress toward truly flexible and operationally supportable modular power architecture.

  20. Space station as a vital focus for advancing the technologies of automation and robotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varsi, Giulio; Herman, Daniel H.

    A major guideline for the design of the United States's Space Station is that the Space Station address a wide variety of functions. These functions include the servicing of unmanned assets in space, the support of commercial laboratories in space and the efficient management of the Space Station itself: the largest space asset. For the Space Station to address successfully these and other functions, the operating costs must be minimized. Furthermore, crew time in space will be an exceedingly scarce and valuable commodity. The human operator should perform only those tasks that are unique in demanding the use of the human creative capability in coping with unanticipated events. The technologies of automation and robotics (A & R) have the promise to help in reducing Space Station operating costs and to achieve a highly efficient use of the human in space. The use of advanced automation and artificial intelligence techniques, such as expert systems, in Space Station subsystems for activity planning and failure mode management will enable us to reduce dependency on a mission control center and could ultimately result in breaking the umbilical link from Earth to the Space Station. The application of robotic technologies with advanced perception capability and hierarchical intelligent control to servicing systems will enable us to service assets either at the Space Station or in situ with a high degree of human efficiency. This paper presents the results of studies conducted by NASA and its contractors, at the urging of the Congress, leading toward the formulation of an automation and robotics plan for Space Station development.

  1. Development of Advanced Hydrocarbon Fuels at Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bai, S. D.; Dumbacher, P.; Cole, J. W.

    2002-01-01

    This was a small-scale, hot-fire test series to make initial measurements of performance differences of five new liquid fuels relative to rocket propellant-1 (RP-1). The program was part of a high-energy-density materials development at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), and the fuels tested were quadricyclane, 1-7 octodiyne, AFRL-1, biclopropylidene, and competitive impulse noncarcinogenic hypergol (CINCH) (di-methyl-aminoethyl-azide). All tests were conducted at MSFC. The first four fuels were provided by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Edwards Air Force Base, CA. The U.S. Army, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL, provided the CINCH. The data recorded in all hot-fire tests were used to calculate specific impulse and characteristic exhaust velocity for each fuel, then compared to RP-1 at the same conditions. This was not an exhaustive study, comparing each fuel to RP-1 at an array of mixture ratios, nor did it include important fuel parameters, such as fuel handling or long-term storage. The test hardware was designed for liquid oxygen (lox)/RP-1, then modified for gaseous oxygen/RP-1 to avoid two-phase lox at very small flow rates. All fuels were tested using the same thruster/injector combination designed for RP-1. The results of this test will be used to determine which fuels will be tested in future test programs.

  2. Advanced electric propulsion and space plasma contactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, Paul J.

    1987-01-01

    A theory of the plasma contacting process is described and experimental results obtained using three different hollow cathode-based plasma contactors are presented. The existence of a sheath across which the bulk of the voltage drop associated with the contacting process occurs is demonstrated. Test results are shown to agree with a model of a spherical, space-charge-limited double sheath. The concept of ignited mode contactor operation is discussed, which is shown to enhance contactor efficiency when it is collecting electrons. An investigation of the potentials in the plasma plumes downstream of contactors operating at typical conditions is presented. Results of tests performed on hollow cathodes operating at high interelectrode pressures (up to about 1000 Torr) on ammonia are presented and criteria that are necessary to ensure that the cathode will operate properly in this regime are presented. These results suggest that high pressure hollow cathode operation is difficult to achieve and that special care must be taken to assure that the electron emission region remains diffuse and attached to the low work function insert. Experiments conducted to verify results obtained previously using a ring cusp ion source equipped with a moveable anode are described and test results are reported. A theoretical study of hollow cathode operation at high electron emission currents is presented. Preliminary experiments using the constrained sheath optics concept to achieve ion extraction under conditions of high beam current density, low net accelerating voltage and well columniated beamlet formation are discussed.

  3. Advancing Robotic Control for Space Exploration Using Robonaut 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Badger, Julia; Diftler, Myron; Hart, Stephen; Joyce, Charles

    2012-01-01

    Robonaut 2, or R2, arrived on the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2011 and is currently being tested in preparation for its role initially as an Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) tool and eventually as a robot that performs Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA). Robonaut 2, is a state of the art dexterous anthropomorphic robotic torso designed for assisting astronauts. R2 features increased force sensing, greater range of motion, higher bandwidth, and improved dexterity over its predecessor. Robonaut 2 is unique in its ability to safely allow humans in its workspace and to perform significant tasks in a workspace designed for humans. The current operational paradigm involves either the crew or the ground control team running semi-autonomous scripts on the robot as both the astronaut and the ground team monitor R2 and the data it produces. While this is appropriate for the check-out phase of operations, the future plans for R2 will stress the current operational framework. The approach described here will outline a suite of operational modes that will be developed for Robonaut 2. These operational modes include teleoperation, shared control, directed autonomy, and supervised autonomy, and they cover a spectrum of human involvement in controlling R2.

  4. Advanced sensible heat solar receiver for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Timothy J.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1988-01-01

    NASA Lewis, through in-house efforts, has begun a study to generate a conceptual design of a sensible heat solar receiver and to determine the feasibility of such a system for space power applications. The sensible heat solar receiver generated in this study uses pure lithium as the thermal storage medium and was designed for a 7 kWe Brayton (PCS) operating at 1100 K. The receiver consists of two stages interconnected via temperature sensing variable conductance sodium heat pipes. The lithium is contained within a niobium vessel and the outer shell of the receiver is constructed of third generation rigid, fibrous ceramic insulation material. Reradiation losses are controlled with niobium and aluminum shields. By nature of design, the sensible heat receiver generated in this study is comparable in both size and mass to a latent heat system of similar thermal capacitance. The heat receiver design and thermal analysis was conducted through the combined use of PATRAN, SINDA, TRASYS, and NASTRAN software packages.

  5. Advanced sensible heat solar receiver for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Timothy J.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1988-01-01

    NASA Lewis, through in-house efforts, has begun a study to generate a conceptual design of a sensible heat solar receiver and to determine the feasibility of such a system for space power applications. The sensible heat solar receiver generated in this study uses pure lithium as the thermal storage medium and was designed for a 7 kWe Brayton (PCS) operating at 1100 K. The receiver consists of two stages interconnected via temperature sensing variable conductance sodium heat pipes. The lithium is contained within a niobium vessel and the outer shell of the receiver is constructed of third generation rigid, fibrous ceramic insulation material. Reradiation losses are controlled with niobium and aluminum shields. By nature of design, the sensible heat receiver generated in this study is comparable in both size and mass to a latent heat system of similar thermal capacitance. The heat receiver design and thermal analysis were conducted through the combined use of PATRAN, SINDA, TRASYS, and NASTRAN software packages.

  6. Advanced Ceramic Technology for Space Applications at NASA MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alim, Mohammad A.

    2003-01-01

    The ceramic processing technology using conventional methods is applied to the making of the state-of-the-art ceramics known as smart ceramics or intelligent ceramics or electroceramics. The sol-gel and wet chemical processing routes are excluded in this investigation considering economic aspect and proportionate benefit of the resulting product. The use of ceramic ingredients in making coatings or devices employing vacuum coating unit is also excluded in this investigation. Based on the present information it is anticipated that the conventional processing methods provide identical performing ceramics when compared to that processed by the chemical routes. This is possible when sintering temperature, heating and cooling ramps, peak temperature (sintering temperature), soak-time (hold-time), etc. are considered as variable parameters. In addition, optional calcination step prior to the sintering operation remains as a vital variable parameter. These variable parameters constitute a sintering profile to obtain a sintered product. Also it is possible to obtain identical products for more than one sintering profile attributing to the calcination step in conjunction with the variables of the sintering profile. Overall, the state-of-the-art ceramic technology is evaluated for potential thermal and electrical insulation coatings, microelectronics and integrated circuits, discrete and integrated devices, etc. applications in the space program.

  7. Development of advanced silicon solar cells for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillington, David R.

    1990-01-01

    This report describes the development of large area high efficiency wrapthrough solar cells for Space Station Freedom. The goal of this contract was the development and fabrication of 8 x 8 cm coplanar back contact solar cells with a minimum output of 1.039 watts/cell. The first task in this program was a modeling study to determine the optimum configuration of the cell and to study the effects of surface passivation, substrate resistivity, and back surface field on the BOL and EOL performance. In addition, the optical stack, including the cell cover, AR coatings, and Kapton blanket, was modeled to optimize 'on orbit' operation. The second phase was a manufacturing development phase to develop high volume manufacturing processes for the reliable production of low recombination velocity boron back surface fields, techniques to produce smooth, low leakage wrapthrough holes, passivation, photoresist application methods, and metallization schemes. The final portion of this program was a pilot production phase. Seven hundred solar cells were delivered in this phase. At the end of the program, cells with average efficiencies over 13 percent were being produced with power output in excess of 1.139 watts/cell, thus substantially exceeding the program goal.

  8. Recent advances in solar dynamic power for space

    SciTech Connect

    Binz, E.F.; Grosskopf, W.J.; Hallinan, G.J.

    1986-01-01

    The development of a hybrid power system for the Space Station is discussed. The hybrid system consists of photovoltaic modules, solar dynamic modules, and power management and distribution subsystems; the design and components of the modules and subsystems are described. The capabilities of closed Brayton cycle (CBC) and organic Rankine cycle (ORC) solar receivers are examined. The behavior of phase-change materials (PCMs) for ORC and CBC is characterized. It is observed that LiOH with a melting point of 471 C is appropriate for an ORC that operates in the 399 C range, and the LiOH which has a heat fusion of 877 kJ/g can be contained with Ni and Ni-Cr alloys. A mixture of CaF2-LiF was selected for CBC which operates at 732 C; the salt mixture has a melting point of 768 C, a heat fusion of 791 kJ/kg, and can be contained with Ni-Cr and Co-base alloys. Large-scale system tests with PCMs in cylindrical canisters were conducted using a parabolic concentrator to evaluate thermodynamic performance in a LEO environment. The data reveal that the PCM can convert the sunlight of LEO to the constant energy stream necessary for dynamic engine operation.

  9. Advances in Materials Research: An Internship at Kennedy Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrios, Elizabeth A.; Roberson, Luke B.

    2011-01-01

    My time at Kennedy Space Center. was spent immersing myself in research performed in the Materials Science Division of the Engineering Directorate. My Chemical Engineering background provided me the ability to assist in many different projects ranging from tensile testing of composite materials to making tape via an extrusion process. However, I spent the majority of my time on the following three projects: (1) testing three different materials to determine antimicrobial properties; (2) fabricating and analyzing hydrogen sensing tapes that were placed at the launch pad for STS-133 launch; and (3) researching molten regolith electrolysis at KSC to prepare me for my summer internship at MSFC on a closely related topic. This paper aims to explain, in detail, what I have learned about these three main projects. It will explain why this research is happening and what we are currently doing to resolve the issues. This paper will also explain how the hard work and experiences that I have gained as an intern have provided me with the next big step towards my career at NASA.

  10. Advancing MODFLOW Applying the Derived Vector Space Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrera, G. S.; Herrera, I.; Lemus-García, M.; Hernandez-Garcia, G. D.

    2015-12-01

    The most effective domain decomposition methods (DDM) are non-overlapping DDMs. Recently a new approach, the DVS-framework, based on an innovative discretization method that uses a non-overlapping system of nodes (the derived-nodes), was introduced and developed by I. Herrera et al. [1, 2]. Using the DVS-approach a group of four algorithms, referred to as the 'DVS-algorithms', which fulfill the DDM-paradigm (i.e. the solution of global problems is obtained by resolution of local problems exclusively) has been derived. Such procedures are applicable to any boundary-value problem, or system of such equations, for which a standard discretization method is available and then software with a high degree of parallelization can be constructed. In a parallel talk, in this AGU Fall Meeting, Ismael Herrera will introduce the general DVS methodology. The application of the DVS-algorithms has been demonstrated in the solution of several boundary values problems of interest in Geophysics. Numerical examples for a single-equation, for the cases of symmetric, non-symmetric and indefinite problems were demonstrated before [1,2]. For these problems DVS-algorithms exhibited significantly improved numerical performance with respect to standard versions of DDM algorithms. In view of these results our research group is in the process of applying the DVS method to a widely used simulator for the first time, here we present the advances of the application of this method for the parallelization of MODFLOW. Efficiency results for a group of tests will be presented. References [1] I. Herrera, L.M. de la Cruz and A. Rosas-Medina. Non overlapping discretization methods for partial differential equations, Numer Meth Part D E, (2013). [2] Herrera, I., & Contreras Iván "An Innovative Tool for Effectively Applying Highly Parallelized Software To Problems of Elasticity". Geofísica Internacional, 2015 (In press)

  11. Advanced Guidance and Control for Hypersonics and Space Access

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, John M.; Hall, Charles E.; Mulqueen, John A.; Jones, Robert E.

    2003-01-01

    Advanced guidance and control (AG&C) technologies are critical for meeting safety, reliability, and cost requirements for the next generation of reusable launch vehicle (RLV), whether it is fully rocket-powered or has air- breathing components. This becomes clear upon examining the number of expendable launch vehicle failures in the recent past where AG&C technologies could have saved a RLV with the same failure mode, the additional vehicle problems where t h i s technology applies, and the costs and time associated with mission design with or without all these failure issues. The state-of-the-art in guidance and control technology, as well as in computing technology, is the point where we can look to the possibility of being able to safely return a RLV in any situation where it can physically be recovered. This paper outlines reasons for AWC, current technology efforts, and the additional work needed for making this goal a reality. There are a number of approaches to AG&C that have the potential for achieving the desired goals. For some of these methods, we compare the results of tests designed to demonstrate the achievement of the goals. Tests up to now have been focused on rocket-powered vehicles; application to hypersonic air-breathers is planned. We list the test cases used to demonstrate that the desired results are achieved, briefly describe an automated test scoring method, and display results of the tests. Some of the technology components have reached the maturity level where they are ready for application to a new vehicle concept, while others are not far along in development.

  12. A two stage launch vehicle for use as an advanced space transportation system for logistics support of the space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    This report describes the preliminary design specifications for an Advanced Space Transportation System consisting of a fully reusable flyback booster, an intermediate-orbit cargo vehicle, and a shuttle-type orbiter with an enlarged cargo bay. It provides a comprehensive overview of mission profile, aerodynamics, structural design, and cost analyses. These areas are related to the overall feasibility and usefullness of the proposed system.

  13. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, D.A.

    1986-08-01

    This document describes radioisotope distribution from DOE facilities to private firms including foreign and other DOE facilities. The information is divided into five sections: (1) isotope suppliers, facility contacts, and isotopes or services supplied; (2) customers, suppliers, and isotopes purchased; (3) isotopes purchased cross-referenced with customer numbers; (4) geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and (5) radioisotope sales and transfer - FY 1985.

  14. Advanced Precipitation Radar Antenna to Measure Rainfall From Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahmat-Samii, Yahya; Lin, John; Huang, John; Im, Eastwood; Lou, Michael; Lopez, Bernardo; Durden, Stephen

    2008-01-01

    To support NASA s planned 20-year mission to provide sustained global precipitation measurement (EOS-9 Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)), a deployable antenna has been explored with an inflatable thin-membrane structure. This design uses a 5.3 5.3-m inflatable parabolic reflector with the electronically scanned, dual-frequency phased array feeds to provide improved rainfall measurements at 2.0-km horizontal resolution over a cross-track scan range of up to 37 , necessary for resolving intense, isolated storm cells and for reducing the beam-filling and spatial sampling errors. The two matched radar beams at the two frequencies (Ku and Ka bands) will allow unambiguous retrieval of the parameters in raindrop size distribution. The antenna is inflatable, using rigidizable booms, deployable chain-link supports with prescribed curvatures, a smooth, thin-membrane reflecting surface, and an offset feed technique to achieve the precision surface tolerance (0.2 mm RMS) for meeting the low-sidelobe requirement. The cylindrical parabolic offset-feed reflector augmented with two linear phased array feeds achieves dual-frequency shared-aperture with wide-angle beam scanning and very low sidelobe level of -30 dB. Very long Ku and Ka band microstrip feed arrays incorporating a combination of parallel and series power divider lines with cosine-over-pedestal distribution also augment the sidelobe level and beam scan. This design reduces antenna mass and launch vehicle stowage volume. The Ku and Ka band feed arrays are needed to achieve the required cross-track beam scanning. To demonstrate the inflatable cylindrical reflector with two linear polarizations (V and H), and two beam directions (0deg and 30deg), each frequency band has four individual microstrip array designs. The Ku-band array has a total of 166x2 elements and the Ka-band has 166x4 elements with both bands having element spacing about 0.65 lambda(sub 0). The cylindrical reflector with offset linear array feeds

  15. Experiments Advance Gardening at Home and in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Aeroponics, the process of growing plants suspended in air without soil or media, provides clean, efficient, and rapid food production. Crops can be planted and harvested year-round without interruption, and without contamination from soil, pesticides, and residue. Aeroponic systems also reduce water usage by 98 percent, fertilizer usage by 60 percent, and eliminate pesticide usage altogether. Plants grown in aeroponic systems have been shown to absorb more minerals and vitamins, making the plants healthier and potentially more nutritious. The suspended system also has other advantages. Since the growing environment can be kept clean and sterile, the chances of spreading plant diseases and infections commonly found in soil and other growing media are greatly reduced. Also, seedlings do not stretch or wilt while their roots are forming, and once the roots are developed, the plants can be easily moved into any type of growing media without the risk of transplant shock. Lastly, plants tend to grow faster in a regulated aeroponic environment, and the subsequent ease of transplant to a natural medium means a higher annual crop yield. For example, tomatoes are traditionally started in pots and transplanted to the ground at least 28 days later; growers using an aeroponic system can transplant them just 10 days after starting the plants in the growing chamber. This accelerated cycle produces six tomato crops per year, rather than the traditional one to two crop cycles. These benefits, along with the great reduction in weight by eliminating soil and much of the water required for plant growth, illustrate why this technique has found such enthusiastic support from NASA. Successful long-term missions into deep space will require crews to grow some of their own food during flight. Aeroponic crops are also a potential source of fresh oxygen and clean drinking water, and every ounce of food produced and water conserved aboard a spacecraft reduces payload weight, decreasing

  16. Advancing cell biology through proteomics in space and time (PROSPECTS).

    PubMed

    Lamond, Angus I; Uhlen, Mathias; Horning, Stevan; Makarov, Alexander; Robinson, Carol V; Serrano, Luis; Hartl, F Ulrich; Baumeister, Wolfgang; Werenskiold, Anne Katrin; Andersen, Jens S; Vorm, Ole; Linial, Michal; Aebersold, Ruedi; Mann, Matthias

    2012-03-01

    The term "proteomics" encompasses the large-scale detection and analysis of proteins and their post-translational modifications. Driven by major improvements in mass spectrometric instrumentation, methodology, and data analysis, the proteomics field has burgeoned in recent years. It now provides a range of sensitive and quantitative approaches for measuring protein structures and dynamics that promise to revolutionize our understanding of cell biology and molecular mechanisms in both human cells and model organisms. The Proteomics Specification in Time and Space (PROSPECTS) Network is a unique EU-funded project that brings together leading European research groups, spanning from instrumentation to biomedicine, in a collaborative five year initiative to develop new methods and applications for the functional analysis of cellular proteins. This special issue of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics presents 16 research papers reporting major recent progress by the PROSPECTS groups, including improvements to the resolution and sensitivity of the Orbitrap family of mass spectrometers, systematic detection of proteins using highly characterized antibody collections, and new methods for absolute as well as relative quantification of protein levels. Manuscripts in this issue exemplify approaches for performing quantitative measurements of cell proteomes and for studying their dynamic responses to perturbation, both during normal cellular responses and in disease mechanisms. Here we present a perspective on how the proteomics field is moving beyond simply identifying proteins with high sensitivity toward providing a powerful and versatile set of assay systems for characterizing proteome dynamics and thereby creating a new "third generation" proteomics strategy that offers an indispensible tool for cell biology and molecular medicine.

  17. Spacecraft Conceptual Design for the 8-Meter Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, Randall C.; Capizzo, Peter; Fincher, Sharon; Hornsby, Linda S.; Jones, David

    2010-01-01

    The Advanced Concepts Office at Marshall Space Flight Center completed a brief spacecraft design study for the 8-meter monolithic Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST-8m). This spacecraft concept provides all power, communication, telemetry, avionics, guidance and control, and thermal control for the observatory, and inserts the observatory into a halo orbit about the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point. The multidisciplinary design team created a simple spacecraft design that enables component and science instrument servicing, employs articulating solar panels for help with momentum management, and provides precise pointing control while at the same time fast slewing for the observatory.

  18. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the space station and for the US economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    In April 1985, as required by Public Law 98-371, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) reported to Congress the results of its studies on advanced automation and robotics technology for use on the Space Station. This material was documented in the initial report (NASA Technical Memorandum 87566). A further requirement of the Law was that ATAC follow NASA's progress in this area and report to Congress semiannually. This report is the second in a series of progress updates and covers the period between October 4, 1985, and March 31, l986. NASA has accepted the basic recommendations of ATAC for its Space Station efforts. ATAC and NASA agree that thrust of Congress is to build an advanced automation and robotics technology base that will support an evolutionary Space Station Program and serve as a highly visible stimulator effecting the U.S. long-term economy. The progress report identifies the work of NASA and the Space Station study contractors, research in progress, and issues connected with the advancement of automation and robotics technology on the Space Station.

  19. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the space station and for the US economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nunamaker, Robert

    1988-01-01

    In April 1985, as required by Public Law 98-371, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) reported to Congress the results of its studies on advanced automation and robotics technology for use on the Space Station. This material was documented in the initial report (NASA Technical Memo 87566). A further requirement of the law was that ATAC follow NASA's progress in this area and report to Congress semiannually. This report is the sixth in a series of progress updates and covers the period between October 1, 1987 and March 1, 1988. NASA has accepted the basic recommendations of ATAC for its Space Station efforts. ATAC and NASA agree that the thrust of Congress is to build an advanced automation and robotics technology base that will support an evolutionary Space Station program and serve as a highly visible stimulator affecting the U.S. long-term economy. The progress report identifies the work of NASA and the Space Station study contractors, research in progress, and issues connected with the advancement of automation and robotics technology on the Space Station.

  20. Advanced technology and the Space Shuttle /10th Von Karman Lecture/.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Love, E. S.

    1973-01-01

    Selected topics in technology advancement related to the space shuttle are examined. Contributions from long-range research prior to the advent of the 'shuttle-focused technology program' of the past 3 years are considered together with highlights from the latter. Attention is confined to three of the shuttle's seven principal technology areas: aerothermodynamics/configurations, dynamics/aeroelasticity, and structures/materials. Some observations are presented on the shuttle's origin, the need to sustain advanced research, and future systems that could emerge from a combination of shuttle and non-shuttle technology advancements.

  1. JPL space station telerobotic engineering prototype development: Advanced telerobotics system technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backes, Paul G.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of the Advanced Telerobotics System Technology Task is to develop/prototype advanced telerobotics supervisory and shared control to enhance Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) teleoperation in the Space Station. The technology provides enhanced telerobotics capabilities while operating within the expected constraints of computation limitations, time delay, and bus bandwidth. A local site operator interface has also been developed for specifying teleoperation and shared control modes as well as supervised autonomous macros for execution at the remote site. The primary objective of the task is to transfer the advanced technology to appropriate flight centers to enhance the baseline Station capabilities.

  2. Radioisotope penogram in diagnosis of vasculogenic impotence

    SciTech Connect

    Fanous, H.N.; Jevtich, M.J.; Chen, D.C.; Edson, M.

    1982-11-01

    A radioisotope technique to estimate penile blood flow is described. The radioisotope penogram is noninvasive and gives a dynamic evaluation of the arterial supply, venous drainage, and blood flow in the corporeal bodies. The penogram is a valuable adjunct in evaluation of patients with vasculogenic impotence.

  3. Space-based radar representation in the advanced warfighting simulation (AWARS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phend, Andrew E.; Buckley, Kathryn; Elliott, Steven R.; Stanley, Page B.; Shea, Peter M.; Rutland, Jimmie A.

    2004-09-01

    Space and orbiting systems impact multiple battlefield operating systems (BOS). Space support to current operations is a perfect example of how the United States fights. Satellite-aided munitions, communications, navigation and weather systems combine to achieve military objectives in a relatively short amount of time. Through representation of space capabilities within models and simulations, the military will have the ability to train and educate officers and soldiers to fight from the high ground of space or to conduct analysis and determine the requirements or utility of transformed forces empowered with advanced space-based capabilities. The Army Vice Chief of Staff acknowledged deficiencies in space modeling and simulation during the September 2001 Space Force Management Analsyis Review (FORMAL) and directed that a multi-disciplinary team be established to recommend a service-wide roadmap to address shortcomings. A Focus Area Collaborative Team (FACT), led by the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command with participation across the Army, confirmed the weaknesses in scope, consistency, correctness, completeness, availability, and usability of space model and simulation (M&S) for Army applications. The FACT addressed the need to develop a roadmap to remedy Space M&S deficiencies using a highly parallelized process and schedule designed to support a recommendation during the Sep 02 meeting of the Army Model and Simulation Executive Council (AMSEC).

  4. Automation and robotics for the Space Station - The influence of the Advanced Technology Advisory Committee

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nunamaker, Robert R.; Willshire, Kelli F.

    1988-01-01

    The reports of a committee established by Congress to identify specific systems of the Space Station which would advance automation and robotics technologies are reviewed. The history of the committee, its relation to NASA, and the reports which it has released are discussed. The committee's reports recommend the widespread use of automation and robotics for the Space Station, a program for technology development and transfer between industries and research and development communities, and the planned use of robots to service and repair satellites and their payloads which are accessible from the Space Station.

  5. a Roadmap to Advance Understanding of the Science of Space Weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrijver, K.; Kauristie, K.; Aylward, A.; De Nardin, C. M.; Gibson, S. E.; Glover, A.; Gopalswamy, N.; Grande, M.; Hapgood, M. A.; Heynderickx, D.; Jakowski, N.; Kalegaev, V. V.; Lapenta, G.; Linker, J.; Liu, S.; Mandrini, C. H.; Mann, I. R.; Nagatsuma, T.; Nandy, D.; Obara, T.; O'Brien, T. P., III; Onsager, T. G.; Opgenoorth, H. J.; Terkildsen, M. B.; Valladares, C. E.; Vilmer, N.

    2015-12-01

    There is a growing appreciation that the environmental conditions that we call space weather impact the technological infrastructure that powers the coupled economies around the world. With that comes the need to better shield society against space weather by improving forecasts, environmental specifications, and infrastructure design. A COSPAR/ILWS team recently completed a roadmap that identifies the scientific focus areas and research infrastructure that are needed to significantly advance our understanding of space weather of all intensities and of its implications and costs for society. This presentation provides a summary of the highest-priority recommendations from that roadmap.

  6. Final Results for the GRC Supporting Technology Development Project for the 110-Watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2007-01-01

    From 1999 to 2006, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) supported the development of a high-efficiency, nominal 110-We Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for potential use on NASA missions, including deep space missions, Mars rovers, and lunar applications. Lockheed Martin (LM) was the system integrator for the SRG110, under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). Infinia Corporation (formerly Stirling Technology Company) developed the Stirling convertor, first as a contractor to DOE and then under subcontract to LM. The SRG110 development has been redirected, and recent program changes have been made to significantly increase the specific power of the generator. System development of an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) has now begun, using a lightweight, advanced convertor from Sunpower, Inc. This paper summarizes the results of the supporting technology effort that GRC completed for the SRG110. GRC tasks included convertor extended-duration testing in air and thermal vacuum environments, heater head life assessment, materials studies, permanent magnet aging characterization, linear alternator evaluations, structural dynamics testing, electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) characterization, organic materials evaluations, reliability studies, and development of an end-to-end system dynamic model. Related efforts are now continuing in many of these areas to support ASRG development.

  7. Final Results for the GRC Supporting Technology Development Project for the 110-Watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2007-01-01

    From 1999-2006, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) supported the development of a high-efficiency, nominal 110-We Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for potential use on NASA missions, including deep space missions, Mars rovers, and lunar applications. Lockheed Martin (LM) was the system integrator for the SRG110, under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). Infinia Corporation (formerly Stirling Technology Company) developed the Stirling convertor, first as a contractor to DOE and then under subcontract to LM. The SRG110 development has been redirected, and recent program changes have been made to significantly increase the specific power of the generator. System development of an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) has now begun, using a lightweight, advanced convertor from Sunpower, Inc. This paper summarizes the results of the supporting technology effort that GRC completed for the SRG110. GRC tasks included convertor extended-duration testing in air and thermal vacuum environments, heater head life assessment, materials studies, permanent magnet aging characterization, linear alternator evaluations, structural dynamics testing, electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) characterization, organic materials evaluations, reliability studies, and development of an end-to-end system dynamic model. Related efforts are now continuing in many of these areas to support ASRG development.

  8. NASA University Research Centers Technical Advances in Education, Aeronautics, Space, Autonomy, Earth and Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jamshidi, M. (Editor); Lumia, R. (Editor); Tunstel, E., Jr. (Editor); White, B. (Editor); Malone, J. (Editor); Sakimoto, P. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    This first volume of the Autonomous Control Engineering (ACE) Center Press Series on NASA University Research Center's (URC's) Advanced Technologies on Space Exploration and National Service constitute a report on the research papers and presentations delivered by NASA Installations and industry and Report of the NASA's fourteen URC's held at the First National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico from February 16-19, 1997.

  9. Opportunities for space exploitation to year 2000 - A challenge for advanced technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calio, A. J.

    1979-01-01

    Application of satellite remote sensing to wide range of areas requires the development or improvement of specialized spaceborne and ground-based equipment and systems. This paper describes some of the important areas for remote sensing and the opportunities that must be met in order to advance technology and capabilities for the exploitation of space to the year 2000.

  10. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the space station Freedom and for the US economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creedon, Jeremiah F.

    1989-01-01

    In April 1985, as required by Public Law 98-371, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) reported to Congress the results of its studies on advanced automation and robotics technology for use on the Freedom space station. This material was documented in the initial report (NASA Technical Memorandum 87566). A further requirement of the law was that ATAC follow NASA's progress in this area and report to Congress semiannually. This report is the eighth in a series of progress updates and covers the period between October 1, 1988, and March 31, 1989. NASA has accepted the basic recommendations of ATAC for its Space Station Freedom efforts. ATAC and NASA agree that the thrust of Congress is to build an advanced automation and robotics technology base that will support an evolutionary Space Station Freedom program and serve as a highly visible stimulator, affecting the U.S. long-term economy. The progress report identifies the work of NASA and the Freedom study contractors. It also describes research in progress, and it makes assessments of the advancement of automation and robotics technology on the Freedom space station.

  11. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the Space Station Freedom and for the US economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    In April 1985, as required by Public Law 98-371, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) reported to Congress the results of its studies on advanced automation and robotics technology for use on the Freedom space station. This material was documented in the initial report (NASA Technical Memorandum 87566). A further requirement of the law was that ATAC follow NASA's progress in this area and report to Congress semiannually. This report is the seventh in a series of progress updates and covers the period between April 1, 1988 and September 30, 1988. NASA has accepted the basic recommendations of ATAC for its Space Station Freedom efforts. ATAC and NASA agree that the thrust of Congress is to build an advanced automation and robotics technology base that will support an evolutionary Space Station Freedom program and serve as a highly visible stimulator, affecting the U.S. long-term economy. The progress report identifies the work of NASA and the Freedom study contractors. It also describes research in progress, and it makes assessments of the advancement of automation and robotics technology on the Freedom space station.

  12. Environmental assessment for radioisotope heat source fuel processing and fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-07-01

    DOE has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for radioisotope heat source fuel processing and fabrication involving existing facilities at the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, South Carolina and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) near Los Alamos, New Mexico. The proposed action is needed to provide Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) to support the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) CRAF and Cassini Missions. Based on the analysis in the EA, DOE has determined that the proposed action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. 30 refs., 5 figs.

  13. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion for Fast Outer Planetary Orbiters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Benson, Scott; Gefert, Leon; Patterson, Michael; Schreiber, Jeffrey

    2002-01-01

    Recent interest in outer planetary targets by the Office of Space Science has spurred the search for technology options to enable relatively quick missions to outer planetary targets. Several options are being explored including solar electric propelled stages combined with aerocapture at the target and nuclear electric propulsion. Another option uses radioisotope powered electric thrusters to reach the outer planets. Past work looked at using this technology to provide faster flybys. A better use for this technology is for outer planet orbiters. Combined with medium class launch vehicles and a new direct trajectory these small, sub-kilowatt ion thrusters and Stirling radioisotope generators were found to allow missions as fast as 5 to 12 years for objects from Saturn to Pluto, respectively. Key to the development is light spacecraft and science payload technologies.

  14. DART: Delta Advanced Reusable Transport. An alternate manned space system proposal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The Delta Advanced Reusable Transport (DART) craft is being developed to add, multiple, rapid, and cost effective space access to the U.S. capability and to further the efforts towards a permanent space presence. The DART craft provides an augmentative and an alternative system to the Shuttle. As a supplement launch vehicle, the DART adds low cost and easily accessible transport of crew and cargo to specific space destinations to the U.S. program. This adds significant opportunities for manned rated missions that do not require Shuttle capabilities. In its alternative role, the DART can provide emergency space access and satellite repair, the continuation of scientific research, and the furthering of U.S. manned efforts in the event of Shuttle incapabilities. In addition, the DART is being designed for Space Station Freedom compatibility, including its use as a 'lifeboat' emergency reentry craft for Freedom astronauts, as well as the transport of crew and cargo for station resupply.

  15. Advances in Robotic, Human, and Autonomous Systems for Missions of Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gross, Anthony R.; Briggs, Geoffrey A.; Glass, Brian J.; Pedersen, Liam; Kortenkamp, David M.; Wettergreen, David S.; Nourbakhsh, I.; Clancy, Daniel J.; Zornetzer, Steven (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Space exploration missions are evolving toward more complex architectures involving more capable robotic systems, new levels of human and robotic interaction, and increasingly autonomous systems. How this evolving mix of advanced capabilities will be utilized in the design of new missions is a subject of much current interest. Cost and risk constraints also play a key role in the development of new missions, resulting in a complex interplay of a broad range of factors in the mission development and planning of new missions. This paper will discuss how human, robotic, and autonomous systems could be used in advanced space exploration missions. In particular, a recently completed survey of the state of the art and the potential future of robotic systems, as well as new experiments utilizing human and robotic approaches will be described. Finally, there will be a discussion of how best to utilize these various approaches for meeting space exploration goals.

  16. Planning For Multiple NASA Missions With Use Of Enabling Radioisotope Power

    SciTech Connect

    S.G. Johnson; K.L. Lively; C.C. Dwight

    2013-02-01

    Since the early 1960’s the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies have provided radioisotope power systems (RPS) to NASA as an enabling technology for deep space and various planetary missions. They provide reliable power in situations where solar and/or battery power sources are either untenable or would place an undue mass burden on the mission. In the modern era of the past twenty years there has been no time that multiple missions have been considered for launching from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) during the same year. The closest proximity of missions that involved radioisotope power systems would be that of Galileo (October 1989) and Ulysses (October 1990). The closest that involved radioisotope heater units would be the small rovers Spirit and Opportunity (May and July 2003) used in the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission. It can be argued that the rovers sent to Mars in 2003 were essentially a special case since they staged in the same facility and used a pair of small launch vehicles (Delta II). This paper examines constraints on the frequency of use of radioisotope power systems with regard to launching them from Kennedy Space Center using currently available launch vehicles. This knowledge may be useful as NASA plans for its future deep space or planetary missions where radioisotope power systems are used as an enabling technology. Previous descriptions have focused on single mission chronologies and not analyzed the timelines with an emphasis on multiple missions.

  17. Space Launch System Spacecraft/Payloads Integration and Evolution Office Advanced Development FY 2014 Annual Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumbly, C. M.; Bickley, F. P.; Hueter, U.

    2015-01-01

    The Advanced Development Office (ADO), part of the Space Launch System (SLS) program, provides SLS with the advanced development needed to evolve the vehicle from an initial Block 1 payload capability of 70 metric tons (t) to an eventual capability Block 2 of 130 t, with intermediary evolution options possible. ADO takes existing technologies and matures them to the point that insertion into the mainline program minimizes risk. The ADO portfolio of tasks covers a broad range of technical developmental activities. The ADO portfolio supports the development of advanced boosters, upper stages, and other advanced development activities benefiting the SLS program. A total of 36 separate tasks were funded by ADO in FY 2014.

  18. Overview study of Space Power Technologies for the advanced energetics program. [spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taussig, R.; Gross, S.; Millner, A.; Neugebauer, M.; Phillips, W.; Powell, J.; Schmidt, E.; Wolf, M.; Woodcock, G.

    1981-01-01

    Space power technologies are reviewed to determine the state-of-the-art and to identify advanced or novel concepts which promise large increases in performance. The potential for incresed performance is judged relative to benchmarks based on technologies which have been flight tested. Space power technology concepts selected for their potentially high performance are prioritized in a list of R & D topical recommendations for the NASA program on Advanced Energetics. The technology categories studied are solar collection, nuclear power sources, energy conversion, energy storage, power transmission, and power processing. The emphasis is on electric power generation in space for satellite on board electric power, for electric propulsion, or for beamed power to spacecraft. Generic mission categories such as low Earth orbit missions and geosynchronous orbit missions are used to distinguish general requirements placed on the performance of power conversion technology. Each space power technology is judged on its own merits without reference to specific missions or power systems. Recommendations include 31 space power concepts which span the entire collection of technology categories studied and represent the critical technologies needed for higher power, lighter weight, more efficient power conversion in space.

  19. Radioisotope scanning in osseous sarcoidosis

    SciTech Connect

    Rohatgi, P.K.

    1980-01-01

    Technetium-99m (/sup 99m/Tc)-labeled pyrophosphate or diphosphonate compounds and gallium-67 citrate (/sup 67/Ga) are two radionuclide scanning agents that are in widespread use in clinical practice. Technetium-99m pyrophosphate is used extensively for bone scanning to detect metastatic bone disease, benign bone tumors, osteomyelitis, benign hypertrophic osteoarthropathy, and Paget's disease. Only two reports describe abnormal /sup 99m/Tc/ pyrophosphate bone scans in four patients with osseous sarcoidosis. Gallium-67 scans are used primarily to localize neoplastic or inflammatory lesions anywhere in the body. In recent years /sup 67/Ga scans have also been used to detect the presence of both pulmonary and extrapulmonary sarcoidosis, but there are no reports describing abnormal uptake of gallium in patients with osseous sarcoidosis. This report describes experience with radioisotope scanning in two patients with osseous sarcoidosis.

  20. BEST medical radioisotope production cyclotrons

    SciTech Connect

    Sabaiduc, Vasile; Milton, Bruce; Suthanthiran, Krishnan; Johnson, Richard R.; Gelbart, W. Z.

    2013-04-19

    Best Cyclotron Systems Inc (BCSI) is currently developing 14 MeV, 25 MeV, 35MeV and 70MeV cyclotrons for radioisotope production and research applications as well as the entire spectrum of targets and nuclear synthesis modules for the production of Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and radiation therapy isotopes. The company is a subsidiary of Best Medical International, renowned in the field of medical instrumentation and radiation therapy. All cyclotrons have external negative hydrogen ion sources, four radial sectors with two dees in opposite valleys, cryogenic vacuum system and simultaneous beam extraction on opposite lines. The beam intensity ranges from 400 {mu}A to 1000 {mu}A, depending on the cyclotron energy and application.

  1. US Department of Energy radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Van Houten, N.C.

    1989-06-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) prepared this edition of the radioisotope customer list at the request of the Office of Health and Environmental Research (ER-73), Office of Energy Research, US Department of Energy (DOE). This is the 25th report in a series dating from 1964. This report covers DOE radioisotope sales and distribution activities by its facilities to domestic, foreign and other DOE facilities for FY 1988. The report is divided into five sections: radioisotope suppliers, facility contacts, and radioisotopes or services supplied; a list of customers, suppliers, and radioisotopes purchased; a list of radioisotopes purchased cross-referenced to customer numbers; geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and radioisotope sales and transfers -- FY 1988. Radioisotopes not previously reported in this series of reports were argon-37, arsenic-72, arsenic-73, bismuth-207, gadolinium-151, rhenium-188, rhodium-101, selenium-72, xenon-123 and zirconium-88. The total value of DOE radioisotope sales for FY 1988 was $11.1 million, an increase of 3% from FY 1987.

  2. NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems Planning and Potential Future Systems Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakrajsek, June F.; Woerner, Dave F.; Cairns-Gallimore, Dirk; Johnson, Stephen G.; Qualls, Louis

    2016-01-01

    The goal of NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program is to make RPS ready and available to support the exploration of the solar system in environments where the use of conventional solar or chemical power generation is impractical or impossible to meet the needs of the missions. To meet this goal, the RPS Program, working closely with the Department of Energy, performs mission and system studies (such as the recently released Nuclear Power Assessment Study), assesses the readiness of promising technologies to infuse in future generators, assesses the sustainment of key RPS capabilities and knowledge, forecasts and tracks the Program's budgetary needs, and disseminates current information about RPS to the community of potential users. This process has been refined and used to determine the current content of the RPS Program's portfolio. This portfolio currently includes an effort to mature advanced thermoelectric technology for possible integration into an enhanced Multi-Mission Radioisotope Generator (eMMRTG), sustainment and production of the currently deployed MMRTG, and technology investments that could lead to a future Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). This paper describes the program planning processes that have been used, the currently available MMRTG, and one of the potential future systems, the eMMRTG.

  3. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion Centaur Orbiter Spacecraft Design Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steve; McGuire, Melissa; Sarver-Verhey, Tim; Juergens, Jeff; Parkey, Tom; Dankanich, John; Fiehler, Doug; Gyekenyesi, John; Hemminger, Joseph; Gilland, Jim; Colozza, Tony; Packard, Tom; Nguyen, Thahn; Schmitz, Paul; Ostdiek, Paul; Gold, Rob; Lisse, Carey; Hibbits, Karl

    2009-01-01

    Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) has been shown in past studies to enable missions to outerplanetary bodies including the orbiting of Centaur asteroids. Key to the feasibility for REP missions are long life, low power electric propulsion (EP) devices, low mass radioisotope power systems (RPS) and light spacecraft (S/C) components. In order to determine what are the key parameters for EP devices to perform these REP missions a design study was completed to design an REP S/C to orbit a Centaur in a New Frontiers cost cap. The design shows that an orbiter using several long lived (approximately 200 kg Xenon throughput), low power (approximately 700 W) Hall thrusters teamed with six (150 W each) Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators (ASRG) can deliver 60 kg of science instruments to a Centaur in 10 yr within the New Frontiers cost cap. Optimal specific impulses for the Hall thrusters were found to be around 2000 sec with thruster efficiencies over 40%. Not only can the REP S/C enable orbiting a Centaur (when compared to an all chemical mission only capable of flybys) but the additional power from the REP system can be reused to enhance science and simplify communications.

  4. Advanced Space Transportation Concepts and Propulsion Technologies for a New Delivery Paradigm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, John W.; McCleskey, Carey M.; Rhodes, Russel E.; Lepsch, Roger A.; Henderson, Edward M.; Joyner, Claude R., III; Levack, Daniel J. H.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes Advanced Space Transportation Concepts and Propulsion Technologies for a New Delivery Paradigm. It builds on the work of the previous paper "Approach to an Affordable and Productive Space Transportation System". The scope includes both flight and ground system elements, and focuses on their compatibility and capability to achieve a technical solution that is operationally productive and also affordable. A clear and revolutionary approach, including advanced propulsion systems (advanced LOX rich booster engine concept having independent LOX and fuel cooling systems, thrust augmentation with LOX rich boost and fuel rich operation at altitude), improved vehicle concepts (autogeneous pressurization, turbo alternator for electric power during ascent, hot gases to purge system and keep moisture out), and ground delivery systems, was examined. Previous papers by the authors and other members of the Space Propulsion Synergy Team (SPST) focused on space flight system engineering methods, along with operationally efficient propulsion system concepts and technologies. This paper continues the previous work by exploring the propulsion technology aspects in more depth and how they may enable the vehicle designs from the previous paper. Subsequent papers will explore the vehicle design, the ground support system, and the operations aspects of the new delivery paradigm in greater detail.

  5. CCSDS Advanced Orbiting Systems - International data communications standards for the Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hooke, Adrian J.

    1990-01-01

    Established in 1982, the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) is an international organization that is staffed by data-handling experts from nearly all of the world's major space agencies. Its goal is to develop standard data-communications techniques so that several agencies may cross-support each other's data flow and thus allow complex, international missions to be flown. Under the general umbrella of Advanced Orbiting Systems (AOS), an international CCSDS task force was formed in 1985 to develop standard data-communications concepts for manned missions, such as the Space Station Freedom and the Hermes space plane, and large unmanned vehicles, such as polar orbiting platforms. The history of the CCSDS and the development of the AOS recommendation are reviewed, and the user services and protocols embodied in its systems architecture are introduced.

  6. User needs as a basis for advanced technology. [U.S. civil space program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mankins, John C.; Reck, Gregory M.

    1992-01-01

    The NASA Integrated Technology Plan (ITP) is described with treatment given to the identification of U.S. technology needs, space research and technology programs, and some ITP implementations. The ITP is based on the development and transfer of technologies relevant to the space program that also have significant implications for general technological research. Among the areas of technological research identified are: astrophysics, earth sciences, microgravity, and space physics. The Office of Space Science and Applications prioritizes the technology needs in three classes; the highest priority is given to submm and microwave technologies for earth sciences and astrophysics study. Other government and commercial needs are outlined that include cryogenic technologies, low-cost engines, advanced data/signal processing, and low-cost ELVs. It is demonstrated that by identifying and addressing these areas of user technology needs NASA's research and technology program can enhance U.S. trade and industrial competitiveness.

  7. Emittance and Phase Space Exchange for Advanced Beam Manipulation and Diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang, Dao; Chao, Alex; /SLAC

    2012-04-27

    Alternative chicane-type beam lines are proposed for exact emittance exchange between transverse phase space (x,x') and longitudinal phase space (z,{delta}), where x is the transverse position, x' is the transverse divergence, and z and {delta} are relative longitudinal position and energy deviation with respect to the reference particle. Methods to achieve exact phase space exchanges, i.e., mapping x to z, x' to {delta}, z to x, and {delta} to x', are suggested. Schemes to mitigate and completely compensate for the thick-lens effect of the transverse cavity on emittance exchange are studied. Some applications of the phase space exchange for advanced beam manipulation and diagnostics are discussed.

  8. NASA's Space Launch System Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction Efforts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumbly, Christopher M.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.; May, Todd A.

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) formally initiated the Space Launch System (SLS) development in September 2011, with the approval of the program s acquisition plan, which engages the current workforce and infrastructure to deliver an initial 70 metric ton (t) SLS capability in 2017, while using planned block upgrades to evolve to a full 130 t capability after 2021. A key component of the acquisition plan is a three-phased approach for the first stage boosters. The first phase is to complete the development of the Ares and Space Shuttle heritage 5-segment solid rocket boosters (SRBs) for initial exploration missions in 2017 and 2021. The second phase in the booster acquisition plan is the Advanced Booster Risk Reduction and/or Engineering Demonstration NASA Research Announcement (NRA), which was recently awarded after a full and open competition. The NRA was released to industry on February 9, 2012, with a stated intent to reduce risks leading to an affordable advanced booster and to enable competition. The third and final phase will be a full and open competition for Design, Development, Test, and Evaluation (DDT&E) of the advanced boosters. There are no existing boosters that can meet the performance requirements for the 130 t class SLS. The expected thrust class of the advanced boosters is potentially double the current 5-segment solid rocket booster capability. These new boosters will enable the flexible path approach to space exploration beyond Earth orbit (BEO), opening up vast opportunities including near-Earth asteroids, Lagrange Points, and Mars. This evolved capability offers large volume for science missions and payloads, will be modular and flexible, and will be right-sized for mission requirements. NASA developed the Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction NRA to seek industry participation in reducing risks leading to an affordable advanced booster that meets the SLS performance requirements

  9. Dynamics and Control of Orbiting Space Structures NASA Advanced Design Program (ADP)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruse, T. A.

    1996-01-01

    The report summarizes the advanced design program in the mechanical engineering department at Vanderbilt University for the academic years 1994-1995 and 1995-1996. Approximately 100 students participated in the two years of the subject grant funding. The NASA-oriented design projects that were selected included lightweight hydrogen propellant tank for the reusable launch vehicle, a thermal barrier coating test facility, a piezoelectric motor for space antenna control, and a lightweight satellite for automated materials processing. The NASA supported advanced design program (ADP) has been a success and a number of graduates are working in aerospace and are doing design.

  10. Recent Space PV Concentrator Advances: More Robust, Lighter, and Easier to Track

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Neill, Mark; McDanal, A. J.; Brandhorst, Henry; Schmid, Kevin; LaCorte, Peter; Piszczor, Michael; Myers, Matt

    2015-01-01

    Over the past three years, the authors have collaborated on several significant advances in space photovoltaic concentrator technology, including a far more robust Fresnel lens for sunlight concentration, improved color-mixing features for the lens to minimize chromatic aberration losses for next-generation 4-junction and 6-junction IMM cells, a new approach to suntracking requiring only one axis of rotation even in the presence of large beta angles (e.g., +/- 50 deg), a new waste heat radiator made of graphene, with 80-90% reduction in mass, and a new platform for deployment and support on orbit (SOLAROSA). These patent-pending advances are described in this paper.

  11. NASA's Space Launch System Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and Risk Reduction Efforts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumbly, Christopher M.; May, Todd; Dumbacher, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) formally initiated the Space Launch System (SLS) development in September 2011, with the approval of the program s acquisition plan, which engages the current workforce and infrastructure to deliver an initial 70 metric ton (t) SLS capability in 2017, while using planned block upgrades to evolve to a full 130 t capability after 2021. A key component of the acquisition plan is a three-phased approach for the first stage boosters. The first phase is to complete the development of the Ares and Space Shuttle heritage 5-segment solid rocket boosters for initial exploration missions in 2017 and 2021. The second phase in the booster acquisition plan is the Advanced Booster Risk Reduction and/or Engineering Demonstration NASA Research Announcement (NRA), which was recently awarded after a full and open competition. The NRA was released to industry on February 9, 2012, and its stated intent was to reduce risks leading to an affordable Advanced Booster and to enable competition. The third and final phase will be a full and open competition for Design, Development, Test, and Evaluation (DDT&E) of the Advanced Boosters. There are no existing boosters that can meet the performance requirements for the 130 t class SLS. The expected thrust class of the Advanced Boosters is potentially double the current 5-segment solid rocket booster capability. These new boosters will enable the flexible path approach to space exploration beyond Earth orbit, opening up vast opportunities including near-Earth asteroids, Lagrange Points, and Mars. This evolved capability offers large volume for science missions and payloads, will be modular and flexible, and will be right-sized for mission requirements. NASA developed the Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction NRA to seek industry participation in reducing risks leading to an affordable Advanced Booster that meets the SLS performance requirements. Demonstrations and

  12. Radioisotopic energy conversion system (RECS): A new radioisotopic power cell, based on nuclear, atomic, and radiation transport principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinfelds, Eric Victor

    The topic of this thesis is the development of the Radioisotope Energy Conversion System (RECS) in a project which is utilizing analytical computational assisted design and some experimental Research in the investigation of fluorescers and effective transducers with the appropriate energy range choice for the conversion of energy. It is desirable to increase the efficiency in electrical power from the raw kinetic power available from the radioactive material within radioisotope power generators. A major step in this direction is the development and use of Radioisotope Energy Conversion Systems to supplement and ideally replace Radioactive Thermal Generators (RTG). It is possible to achieve electrical conversion efficiencies exceeding 25% for RECS power devices compared to only 9 percent efficiency for RTG's. The theoretical basis with existent materials for the potential achievability of efficiencies above 25% is documented within this thesis. The fundamental RECS consists of a radioisotope radiative source (C1), a mediating fluorescent gas (C2) which readily absorbs energy from the beta particles (or alpha's) and subsequently emits blue or UV photons, photovoltaic cells (C3) to convert the blue and UV photons into electrical energy [2], and electrical circuitry (C4). Solid State inspired component (C3), due to its theoretical (and attainable) high efficiency, is a large step ahead of the RTG design concept. The radioisotope flux source produces the beta(-) particles or alpha particles. Geometrically, presently, we prefer to have the ambient fluorescent gas surround the radioisotope flux source. Our fluorescer shall be a gas such as Krypton. Our specifically wide band-gap photovoltaic cells shall have gap energies which are slightly less than that of UV photons produced by the fluorescing gas. Diamond and Aluminum Nitride sample materials are good potential choices for photovoltaic cells, as is explained here in. Out of the material examples discussed, the highest

  13. Advances in space power research and technology at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullin, J. P.; Randolph, L. P.; Hudson, W. R.; Ambrus, J. H.

    1981-01-01

    Progress and plans in various areas of the NASA Space Power Program are discussed. Solar cell research is narrowed to GaAs, multibandgap, and thin Si cells for arrays in planar and concentrator configurations, with further work to increase cell efficiency, radiation hardness, develop flexible encapsulants, and reduce cost. Electrochemical research is concentrating on increasing energy and power density, cycle and wet stand life, reliability and cost reduction of batteries. Further development of the Ni-H2 battery and O2-H2 fuel cell to multihundred kW with a 5 year life and 30,000 cycles is noted. Basic research is ongoing for alkali metal anodes for high energy density secondary cells. Nuclear thermoelectric propulsion is being developed for outer planets exploration propulsion systems, using Si-Ge generators, and studies with rare earth chalcogenides and sulfides are mentioned. Power Systems Management seeks to harmonize increasing power supply levels with inner and outer spacecraft environments, circuits, demands, and automatic monitoring. Concomitant development of bipolar transistors, an infrared rectenna, spacecraft charging measurement, and larger heat pipe transport capacity are noted.

  14. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator licensed hardware package and certification tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldmann, L. H.; Averette, H. S.

    1994-09-01

    This paper presents the Licensed Hardware package and the Certification Test portions of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System. This package has been designed to meet those portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 71) relating to 'Type B' shipments of radioactive materials. The detailed information for the anticipated license is presented in the safety analysis report for packaging, which is now in process and undergoing necessary reviews. As part of the licensing process, a full-size Certification Test Article unit, which has modifications slightly different than the Licensed Hardware or production shipping units, is used for testing. Dimensional checks of the Certification Test Article were made at the manufacturing facility. Leak testing and drop testing were done at the 300 Area of the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. The hardware includes independent double containments to prevent the environmental spread of Pu-238, impact limiting devices to protect portions of the package from impacts, and thermal insulation to protect the seal areas from excess heat during accident conditions. The package also features electronic feed-throughs to monitor the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator's temperature inside the containment during the shipment cycle. This package is designed to safely dissipate the typical 4500 thermal watts produced in the largest Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators. The package also contains provisions to ensure leak tightness when radioactive materials, such as a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for the Cassini Mission, planned for 1997 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, are being prepared for shipment. These provisions include test ports used in conjunction with helium mass spectrometers to determine seal leakage rates of each containment during the assembly process.

  15. Reliability of Radioisotope Stirling Convertor Linear Alternator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin; Korovaichuk, Igor; Geng, Steven M.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    Onboard radioisotope power systems being developed and planned for NASA s deep-space missions would require reliable design lifetimes of up to 14 years. Critical components and materials of Stirling convertors have been undergoing extensive testing and evaluation in support of a reliable performance for the specified life span. Of significant importance to the successful development of the Stirling convertor is the design of a lightweight and highly efficient linear alternator. Alternator performance could vary due to small deviations in the permanent magnet properties, operating temperature, and component geometries. Durability prediction and reliability of the alternator may be affected by these deviations from nominal design conditions. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the effect of these uncertainties in predicting the reliability of the linear alternator performance. This paper presents a study in which a reliability-based methodology is used to assess alternator performance. The response surface characterizing the induced open-circuit voltage performance is constructed using 3-D finite element magnetic analysis. Fast probability integration method is used to determine the probability of the desired performance and its sensitivity to the alternator design parameters.

  16. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, D.A.

    1984-08-01

    This document lists DOE's radioisotope production and distribution activities by its facilities at Argonne National Laboratory; Pacific Northwest Laboratory; Idaho Operations Office; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Savannah River Plant; and UNC Nuclear Industries, Inc. The information is divided into five sections: isotope suppliers, facility contacts, and isotopes or services supplied; lists of customers, suppliers and isotopes purchased; list of isotopes purchased cross-referenced to customer codes; geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and radioisotope sales and transfers - FY 1983.

  17. Design of a prototype Advanced Main Combustion Chamber for the Space Shuttle Main Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lackey, J. D.; Myers, W. N.

    1992-01-01

    Development of a prototype advanced main combustion chamber is underway at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The Advanced Main Combustion Chamber (AMCC) project is being approached utilizing a 'concurrent engineering' concept where groups from materials, manufacturing, stress, quality, and design are involved from the initiation of the project. The AMCC design has been tailored to be compatible with the investment casting process. Jacket, inlet/outlet manifolds, inlet/outlet neck coolant flow splitters, support ribs, actuator lugs, and engine controller mounting bracket will all be a part of the one-piece AMCC casting. Casting of the AMCC in a one-piece configuration necessitated a method of forming a liner in its structural jacket. A method of vacuum plasma spraying the liner is being developed. In 1994, the AMCC will be hot-fired on the Technology Test Bed Space Shuttle Main Engine.

  18. Some operational aspects of a rotating advanced-technology space station for the year 2025

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Queijo, M. J.; Butterfield, A. J.; Cuddihy, W. F.; King, C. B.; Stone, R. W.; Wrobel, J. R.; Garn, P. A.

    1988-01-01

    The study of an Advanced Technology Space Station which would utilize the capabilities of subsystems projected for the time frame of the years 2000 to 2025 is discussed. The study includes tradeoffs of nuclear versus solar dynamic power systems that produce power outputs of 2.5 megawatts and analyses of the dynamics of the spacecraft of which portions are rotated for artificial gravity. The design considerations for the support of a manned Mars mission from low Earth orbit are addressed. The studies extend to on-board manufacturing, internal gas composition effects, and locomotion and material transfer under artificial gravity forces. The report concludes with an assessment of technology requirements for the Advanced Technology Space Station.

  19. Advanced Exploration Technologies: Micro and Nano Technologies Enabling Space Missions in the 21st Century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krabach, Timothy

    1998-01-01

    Some of the many new and advanced exploration technologies which will enable space missions in the 21st century and specifically the Manned Mars Mission are explored in this presentation. Some of these are the system on a chip, the Computed-Tomography imaging Spectrometer, the digital camera on a chip, and other Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology for space. Some of these MEMS are the silicon micromachined microgyroscope, a subliming solid micro-thruster, a micro-ion thruster, a silicon seismometer, a dewpoint microhygrometer, a micro laser doppler anemometer, and tunable diode laser (TDL) sensors. The advanced technology insertion is critical for NASA to decrease mass, volume, power and mission costs, and increase functionality, science potential and robustness.

  20. Advanced space design program to the Universities Space Research Association and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nevill, Gale E., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    The goal of the Fall 1987 class of EGM 4000 was the investigation of engineering aspects contributing to the development of NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS). The areas investigated were the geometry of plant growth chambers, automated seeding of plants, remote sensing of plant health, and processing of grain into edible forms. The group investigating variable spacing of individual soybean plants designed growth trays consisting of three dimensional trapezoids arranged in a compact circular configuration. The automated seed manipulation and planting group investigated the electrical and mechanical properties of wheat seeds and developed three seeding concepts based upon these properties. The plant health and disease sensing group developed a list of reliable plant health indicators and investigated potential detection technologies.

  1. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Lamar, D.A.; Van Houten, N.C.

    1988-08-01

    This edition of the radioisotope customer list was prepared at the request of the Office of Health and Environmental Research (ER-73), Office of Energy Research, US Department of Energy (DOE). This document describes radioisotope distribution from DOE facilities to private firms, including foreign and other DOE facilities. The information is divided into five sections: 1) isotope suppliers, facility contact, and isotopes or services supplied; 2) customers, suppliers, and isotopes purchased; 3) isotopes purchased cross- referenced with customer numbers; 4) geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and 5) radioisotope sales and transfers for fiscal year 1987.

  2. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1984

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, D.A.

    1985-08-01

    This edition of the radioisotope customer list was prepared at the request of the Office of Health and Environmental Research (ER-73), Office of Energy Research, Department of Energy (DOE). This document describes radioisotope distribution from DOE facilities to private firms including foreign and other DOE facilities. The information is divided into five sections: (1) isotope suppliers, facility contacts, and isotopes or services supplied; (2) customers, suppliers, and isotopes purchased; (3) isotopes purchased cross-referenced with customer numbers; (4) geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and (5) radioisotope sales and transfers - FY 1984.

  3. Preliminary design and implementation of the baseline digital baseband architecture for advanced deep space transponders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, T. M.; Yeh, H.-G.

    1993-01-01

    The baseline design and implementation of the digital baseband architecture for advanced deep space transponders is investigated and identified. Trade studies on the selection of the number of bits for the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and optimum sampling schemes are presented. In addition, the proposed optimum sampling scheme is analyzed in detail. Descriptions of possible implementations for the digital baseband (or digital front end) and digital phase-locked loop (DPLL) for carrier tracking are also described.

  4. Relocation of Advanced Water Vapor Radiometer 1 to Deep Space Station 55

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oswald, J.; Riley, L.; Hubbard, A.; Rosenberger, H.; Tanner, A.; Keihm, S.; Jacobs, C.; Lanyi, G.; Naudet, C.

    2005-01-01

    In June of 2004, the Advanced Water Vapor Radiometer (AWVR) unit no. 1 was relocated to the Deep Space Station (DSS) 55 site in Madrid, Spain, from DSS 25 in Goldstone, California. This article summarizes the relocation activity and the subsequent operation and data acquisition. This activity also relocated the associated Microwave Temperature Profiler (MTP) and Surface Meteorology (SurfMET) package that collectively comprise the Cassini Media Calibration System (MCS).

  5. Advanced-technology space station study: Summary of systems and pacing technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butterfield, A. J.; Garn, P. A.; King, C. B.; Queijo, M. J.

    1990-01-01

    The principal system features defined for the Advanced Technology Space Station are summarized and the 21 pacing technologies identified during the course of the study are described. The descriptions of system configurations were extracted from four previous study reports. The technological areas focus on those systems particular to all large spacecraft which generate artificial gravity by rotation. The summary includes a listing of the functions, crew requirements and electrical power demand that led to the studied configuration. The pacing technologies include the benefits of advanced materials, in-orbit assembly requirements, stationkeeping, evaluations of electrical power generation alternates, and life support systems. The descriptions of systems show the potential for synergies and identifies the beneficial interactions that can result from technological advances.

  6. Space transfer vehicle concepts and requirements study. Volume 2, book 4: Integrated advanced technology development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Gary A.

    1991-01-01

    The Space Transfer Vehicle (STV) program provides both an opportunity and a requirement to increase our upper stage capabilities with the development and applications of new technologies. Issues such as man rating, space basing, reusability, and long lunar surface storage times drive the need for new technology developments and applications. In addition, satisfaction of mission requirements such as lunar cargo delivery capability and lunar landing either require new technology development or can be achieved in a more cost-effective manner with judicious applications of advanced technology. During the STV study, advanced technology development requirements and plans have been addressed by the Technology/Advanced Development Working Group composed of NASA and contractor representatives. This report discusses the results to date of this working group. The first section gives an overview of the technologies that have potential or required applications for the STV and identifies those technologies baselined for the STV. Figures are provided that list the technology categories and show the priority placed on those technology categories for either the space-based or ground-based options. The second section covers the plans and schedules for incorporating the technologies into the STV program.

  7. Space transfer vehicle concepts and requirements study. Volume 2, book 4: Integrated advanced technology development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Gary A.

    1991-04-01

    The Space Transfer Vehicle (STV) program provides both an opportunity and a requirement to increase our upper stage capabilities with the development and applications of new technologies. Issues such as man rating, space basing, reusability, and long lunar surface storage times drive the need for new technology developments and applications. In addition, satisfaction of mission requirements such as lunar cargo delivery capability and lunar landing either require new technology development or can be achieved in a more cost-effective manner with judicious applications of advanced technology. During the STV study, advanced technology development requirements and plans have been addressed by the Technology/Advanced Development Working Group composed of NASA and contractor representatives. This report discusses the results to date of this working group. The first section gives an overview of the technologies that have potential or required applications for the STV and identifies those technologies baselined for the STV. Figures are provided that list the technology categories and show the priority placed on those technology categories for either the space-based or ground-based options. The second section covers the plans and schedules for incorporating the technologies into the STV program.

  8. Advanced Earth-to-orbit propulsion technology program overview: Impact of civil space technology initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephenson, Frank W., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    The NASA Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) Propulsion Technology Program is dedicated to advancing rocket engine technologies for the development of fully reusable engine systems that will enable space transportation systems to achieve low cost, routine access to space. The program addresses technology advancements in the areas of engine life extension/prediction, performance enhancements, reduced ground operations costs, and in-flight fault tolerant engine operations. The primary objective is to acquire increased knowledge and understanding of rocket engine chemical and physical processes in order to evolve more realistic analytical simulations of engine internal environments, to derive more accurate predictions of steady and unsteady loads, and using improved structural analyses, to more accurately predict component life and performance, and finally to identify and verify more durable advanced design concepts. In addition, efforts were focused on engine diagnostic needs and advances that would allow integrated health monitoring systems to be developed for enhanced maintainability, automated servicing, inspection, and checkout, and ultimately, in-flight fault tolerant engine operations.

  9. An evolutionary strategy for space nuclear power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1996-03-01

    A number of exciting mission opportunities are being considered for the 21st century, including (1) advanced robotic science missions to the outer planets and beyond; (2) advanced space transportation systems; and (3) human exploration of the Moon and Mars. Several of these missions will require some form of nuclear power; however, it is clear that current budgetary constraints preclude developing many different types of space nuclear power systems. This paper reviews the specific civil space missions which have been identified, the power levels and lifetimes required, and the technologies available. From this an evolutionary space nuclear power program is developed which builds upon the experience of radioisotope thermoelectric generators, improved static and dynamic isotope power systems, and space nuclear reactors. It is strongly suggested that not only does this approach make technical and budgetary sense but that it is consistent with the normal development of new technologies.

  10. The TEF modeling and analysis approach to advance thermionic space power technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Albert C.

    1997-01-01

    Thermionics space power systems have been proposed as advanced power sources for future space missions that require electrical power levels significantly above the capabilities of current space power systems. The Defense Special Weapons Agency's (DSWA) Thermionic Evaluation Facility (TEF) is carrying out both experimental and analytical research to advance thermionic space power technology to meet this expected need. A Modeling and Analysis (M&A) project has been created at the TEF to develop analysis tools, evaluate concepts, and guide research. M&A activities are closely linked to the TEF experimental program, providing experiment support and using experimental data to validate models. A planning exercise has been completed for the M&A project, and a strategy for implementation was developed. All M&A activities will build on a framework provided by a system performance model for a baseline Thermionic Fuel Element (TFE) concept. The system model is composed of sub-models for each of the system components and sub-systems. Additional thermionic component options and model improvements will continue to be incorporated in the basic system model during the course of the program. All tasks are organized into four focus areas: 1) system models, 2) thermionic research, 3) alternative concepts, and 4) documentation and integration. The M&A project will provide a solid framework for future thermionic system development.

  11. SpaceWire- Based Control System Architecture for the Lightweight Advanced Robotic Arm Demonstrator [LARAD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rucinski, Marek; Coates, Adam; Montano, Giuseppe; Allouis, Elie; Jameux, David

    2015-09-01

    The Lightweight Advanced Robotic Arm Demonstrator (LARAD) is a state-of-the-art, two-meter long robotic arm for planetary surface exploration currently being developed by a UK consortium led by Airbus Defence and Space Ltd under contract to the UK Space Agency (CREST-2 programme). LARAD has a modular design, which allows for experimentation with different electronics and control software. The control system architecture includes the on-board computer, control software and firmware, and the communication infrastructure (e.g. data links, switches) connecting on-board computer(s), sensors, actuators and the end-effector. The purpose of the control system is to operate the arm according to pre-defined performance requirements, monitoring its behaviour in real-time and performing safing/recovery actions in case of faults. This paper reports on the results of a recent study about the feasibility of the development and integration of a novel control system architecture for LARAD fully based on the SpaceWire protocol. The current control system architecture is based on the combination of two communication protocols, Ethernet and CAN. The new SpaceWire-based control system will allow for improved monitoring and telecommanding performance thanks to higher communication data rate, allowing for the adoption of advanced control schemes, potentially based on multiple vision sensors, and for the handling of sophisticated end-effectors that require fine control, such as science payloads or robotic hands.

  12. Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope: Science Drivers and Technology Developments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Postman, Marc; Brown, Tom; Sembach, Kenneth; Glavallsco, Mauro; Traub, Wesley; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Calzetti, Daniela; Oegerle, William; Rich, R. Michael; Stahl, H. Philip; Tumlinson, Jason; Mountain, Matt; Soummer, Remi; Hyde, Tupper

    2012-01-01

    The Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST) is a concept for an 8- to 16-m ultraviolet optical near Infrared space observatory for launch in the 2025 to 2030 era. ATLAST will allow astronomers to answer fundamental questions at the forefront of modern astrophysics, including: Is there life elsewhere in the Galaxy? We present a range of science drivers and the resulting performance requirements for ATLAST (8- to 16-marcsec angular resolution, diffraction limited imaging at 0.5 micron wavelength, minimum collecting area of 45 sq m, high sensitivity to light wavelengths from 0.1 to 2.4 micron, high stability in wavefront sensing and control). We also discuss the priorities for technology development needed to enable the construction of ATLAST for a cost that is comparable to that of current generation observatory-class space missions.

  13. Advanced space power requirements and techniques. Task 1: Mission projections and requirements. Volume 1: Technical report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolfe, M. G.

    1978-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to: (1) develop projections of the NASA, DoD, and civil space power requirements for the 1980-1995 time period; (2) identify specific areas of application and space power subsystem type needs for each prospective user; (3) document the supporting and historical base, including relevant cost related measures of performance; and (4) quantify the benefits of specific technology projection advancements. The initial scope of the study included: (1) construction of likely models for NASA, DoD, and civil space systems; (2) generation of a number of future scenarios; (3) extraction of time phased technology requirements based on the scenarios; and (4) cost/benefit analyses of some of the technologies identified.

  14. LSST system analysis and integration task for an advanced science and application space platform

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    To support the development of an advanced science and application space platform (ASASP) requirements of a representative set of payloads requiring large separation distances selected from the Science and Applications Space Platform data base. These payloads were a 100 meter diameter atmospheric gravity wave antenna, a 100 meter by 100 meter particle beam injection experiment, a 2 meter diameter, 18 meter long astrometric telescope, and a 15 meter diameter, 35 meter long large ambient deployable IR telescope. A low earth orbit at 500 km altitude and 56 deg inclination was selected as being the best compromise for meeting payload requirements. Platform subsystems were defined which would support the payload requirements and a physical platform concept was developed. Structural system requirements which included utilities accommodation, interface requirements, and platform strength and stiffness requirements were developed. An attitude control system concept was also described. The resultant ASASP concept was analyzed and technological developments deemed necessary in the area of large space systems were recommended.

  15. Advanced solar dynamic space power systems perspectives, requirements and technology needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dustin, M. O.; Savino, J. M.; Lacy, D. E.; Migra, R. P.; Juhasz, A. J.; Coles, C. E.

    1986-01-01

    Projected NASA, Civil, Commercial, and Military missions will require space power systems of increased versatility and power levels. The Advanced Solar Dynamic (ASD) Power systems offer the potential for efficient, lightweight, survivable, relatively compact, long-lived space power systems applicable to a wide range of power levels (3 to 300 kWe), and a wide variety of orbits. The successful development of these systems could satisfy the power needs for a wide variety of these projected missions. Thus, the NASA Lewis Research Center has embarked upon an aggressive ASD reserach project under the direction of NASA's Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (DAST). The project is being implemented through a combination of in-house and contracted efforts. Key elements of this project are missions analysis to determine the power systems requirements, systems analysis to identify the most attractive ASD power systems to meet these requirements, and to guide the technology development efforts, and technology development of key components.

  16. G-189A analytical simulation of the integrated waste management-water system using radioisotopes for thermal energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coggi, J. V.; Loscutoff, A. V.; Barker, R. S.

    1973-01-01

    An analytical simulation of the RITE-Integrated Waste Management and Water Recovery System using radioisotopes for thermal energy was prepared for the NASA-Manned Space Flight Center (MSFC). The RITE system is the most advanced concept water-waste management system currently under development and has undergone extended duration testing. It has the capability of disposing of nearly all spacecraft wastes including feces and trash and of recovering water from usual waste water sources: urine, condensate, wash water, etc. All of the process heat normally used in the system is produced from low penalty radioisotope heat sources. The analytical simulation was developed with the G189A computer program. The objective of the simulation was to obtain an analytical simulation which can be used to (1) evaluate the current RITE system steady state and transient performance during normal operating conditions, and also during off normal operating conditions including failure modes; and (2) evaluate the effects of variations in component design parameters and vehicle interface parameters on system performance.

  17. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the Space Station and for the US economy. Volume 1: Executive overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    In response to Public Law 98-371, dated July 18, 1984, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee has studied automation and robotics for use in the Space Station. The Executive Overview, Volume 1 presents the major findings of the study and recommends to NASA principles for advancing automation and robotics technologies for the benefit of the Space Station and of the U.S. economy in general. As a result of its study, the Advanced Technology Advisory Committee believes that a key element of technology for the Space Station is extensive use of advanced general-purpose automation and robotics. These systems could provide the United States with important new methods of generating and exploiting space knowledge in commercial enterprises and thereby help preserve U.S. leadership in space.

  18. The NASA New Millennium Program: Space Flight Validation of Advanced Technologies for Future Science Missions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, D.; Raymond, C.

    1999-09-01

    A broad range of advanced technologies are needed to support NASA's ambitious plans for planetary exploration during the next decade. To address these needs, the NASA New Millennium Program (NMP) identifies breakthrough spacecraft and instrument technologies and validates them in space to reduce their cost and risk. The first NMP Deep Space mission, DS1, was launched on October 24, 1998. Since then, it has successfully validated a solar-powered ion propulsion system, a miniaturized deep space transponder, autonomous operations and navigation software, multifunctional structures, low-power microelectronics and 2 instruments: the Miniature Integrated Camera and Spectrometer (MICAS), and the Plasma Experiment for Planetary Exploration (PEPE). To validate these technologies in a realistic environment, DS1's trajectory includes a close (<10km) flyby of asteroid 1992KD. An extended mission will allow encounters with comets Wilson-Harrington and Borrelly. The second NMP mission, DS2, consists of a pair of micro penetrators that are targeted near the Martian South Pole (71 to 76 S). DS2 was launched on January 3, 1999 as a piggyback payload on the Mars Surveyor '98 Lander cruise stage. After crashing into the Martian surface at greater than 200 m/s on December 3, 1999, these probes will validate technologies that will enable future Mars penetrator networks. These technologies include a single-stage, passive atmospheric entry system and a high-impact landing system designed to deliver a payload up to 1 meter below the Martian surface. This mission will also validate a miniaturized telecom system, low-temperature batteries, a suite of miniaturized in-situ scientific instruments, and other innovative packaging technologies. The next 2 NMP space science missions are currently being planned. If approved, Space Technology 3 (ST3) will validate technologies for separated spacecraft optical interferometry, to enable the ambitious Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission. The ST5

  19. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) utilizing Man-Tended Capability (MTC) hardware onboard Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, M.; Barratt, M.; Lloyd, C.

    1992-01-01

    Because of the time and distance involved in returning a patient from space to a definitive medical care facility, the capability for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) exists onboard Space Station Freedom. Methods: In order to evaluate the effectiveness of terrestrial ACLS protocols in microgravity, a medical team conducted simulations during parabolic flights onboard the KC-135 aircraft. The hardware planned for use during the MTC phase of the space station was utilized to increase the fidelity of the scenario and to evaluate the prototype equipment. Based on initial KC-135 testing of CPR and ACLS, changes were made to the ventricular fibrillation algorithm in order to accommodate the space environment. Other constraints to delivery of ACLS onboard the space station include crew size, minimum training, crew deconditioning, and limited supplies and equipment. Results: The delivery of ACLS in microgravity is hindered by the environment, but should be adequate. Factors specific to microgravity were identified for inclusion in the protocol including immediate restraint of the patient and early intubation to insure airway. External cardiac compressions of adequate force and frequency were administered using various methods. The more significant limiting factors appear to be crew training, crew size, and limited supplies. Conclusions: Although ACLS is possible in the microgravity environment, future evaluations are necessary to further refine the protocols. Proper patient and medical officer restraint is crucial prior to advanced procedures. Also emphasis should be placed on early intubation for airway management and drug administration. Preliminary results and further testing will be utilized in the design of medical hardware, determination of crew training, and medical operations for space station and beyond.

  20. The Evolution of Technology in the Deep Space Network: A History of the Advanced Systems Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Layland, J. W.; Rauch, L. L.

    1994-01-01

    The Deep Space Network (DSN) of 1995 might be described as the evolutionary result of 45 years of deep space communication and navigation, together with the synergistic activities of radio science and radar and radio astronomy. But the evolution of the DSN did not just happen - it was carefully planned and created. The evolution of the DSN has been an ongoing engineering activity, and engineering is a process of problem solving under constraints, one of which is technology. In turn, technology is the knowledge base providing the capability and experience for practical application of various areas of science, when needed. The best engineering solutions result from optimization under the fewest constraints, and if technology needs are well anticipated (ready when needed), then the most effective engineering solution is possible. Throughout the history of the DSN it has been the goal and function of DSN advanced technology development (designated the DSN Advanced Systems Program from 1963 through 1994) to supply the technology needs of the DSN when needed, and thus to minimize this constraint on DSN engineering. Technology often takes considerable time to develop, and when that happens, it is important to have anticipated engineering needs; at times, this anticipation has been by as much as 15 years. Also, on a number of occasions, mission malfunctions or emergencies have resulted in unplanned needs for technology that has, in fact, been available from the reservoir of advanced technology provided by the DSN Advanced Systems Program. Sometimes, even DSN engineering personnel fail to realize that the organization of JPL permits an overlap of DSN advanced technology activities with subsequent engineering activities. This can result in the flow of advanced technology into DSN engineering in a natural and sometimes almost unnoticed way. In the following pages, we will explore some of the many contributions of the DSN Advanced Systems Program that were provided to DSN

  1. Space Technology Mission Directorate Game Changing Development Program FY2015 Annual Program Review: Advanced Manufacturing Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vickers, John; Fikes, John

    2015-01-01

    The Advance Manufacturing Technology (AMT) Project supports multiple activities within the Administration's National Manufacturing Initiative. A key component of the Initiative is the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO), which includes participation from all federal agencies involved in U.S. manufacturing. In support of the AMNPO the AMT Project supports building and Growing the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation through a public-private partnership designed to help the industrial community accelerate manufacturing innovation. Integration with other projects/programs and partnerships: STMD (Space Technology Mission Directorate), HEOMD, other Centers; Industry, Academia; OGA's (e.g., DOD, DOE, DOC, USDA, NASA, NSF); Office of Science and Technology Policy, NIST Advanced Manufacturing Program Office; Generate insight within NASA and cross-agency for technology development priorities and investments. Technology Infusion Plan: PC; Potential customer infusion (TDM, HEOMD, SMD, OGA, Industry); Leverage; Collaborate with other Agencies, Industry and Academia; NASA roadmap. Initiatives include: Advanced Near Net Shape Technology Integrally Stiffened Cylinder Process Development (launch vehicles, sounding rockets); Materials Genome; Low Cost Upper Stage-Class Propulsion; Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement (ACME); National Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

  2. Power characteristics of a Stirling radioisotope power system over the life of the mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2001-02-01

    Stirling radioisotope power systems are presently being considered for use on long life deep space missions. Some applications that Stirling technology has been developed for in the past could control the heat input to the engine, as was the case in the Automotive Stirling Engine (ASE) program. The combustion system could change the rate at which fuel was burned in response to the Stirling heater head temperature and the desired set point. In other cases, heat input was not controlled. An example is the solar terrestrial Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS), where the heat input was a function of solar intensity and the performance of the solar concentrator and receiver. The control system for this application would measure the Stirling heater head temperature and throttle the Stirling convertor to once again, maintain the Stirling heater head temperature at the desired set point. In both of these examples, the design was driven to be cost effective. In the Stirling radioisotope power system, the heat generated by the decay in plutonium is reduced with the half-life of the isotope, and the control system must be as simple as possible and still meet the mission requirements. The most simple control system would be one that allows the Stirling power convertor to autonomously change its operating conditions in direct response to the reduced heat input, with no intervention from the control system, merely seeking a new equilibrium point as the isotope decays. This paper presents an analysis of power system performance with this simple control system, which has no feedback and does not actively alter the operating point as the isotope decays. .

  3. Advanced Avionics and Processor Systems for a Flexible Space Exploration Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keys, Andrew S.; Adams, James H.; Smith, Leigh M.; Johnson, Michael A.; Cressler, John D.

    2010-01-01

    The Advanced Avionics and Processor Systems (AAPS) project, formerly known as the Radiation Hardened Electronics for Space Environments (RHESE) project, endeavors to develop advanced avionic and processor technologies anticipated to be used by NASA s currently evolving space exploration architectures. The AAPS project is a part of the Exploration Technology Development Program, which funds an entire suite of technologies that are aimed at enabling NASA s ability to explore beyond low earth orbit. NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) manages the AAPS project. AAPS uses a broad-scoped approach to developing avionic and processor systems. Investment areas include advanced electronic designs and technologies capable of providing environmental hardness, reconfigurable computing techniques, software tools for radiation effects assessment, and radiation environment modeling tools. Near-term emphasis within the multiple AAPS tasks focuses on developing prototype components using semiconductor processes and materials (such as Silicon-Germanium (SiGe)) to enhance a device s tolerance to radiation events and low temperature environments. As the SiGe technology will culminate in a delivered prototype this fiscal year, the project emphasis shifts its focus to developing low-power, high efficiency total processor hardening techniques. In addition to processor development, the project endeavors to demonstrate techniques applicable to reconfigurable computing and partially reconfigurable Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). This capability enables avionic architectures the ability to develop FPGA-based, radiation tolerant processor boards that can serve in multiple physical locations throughout the spacecraft and perform multiple functions during the course of the mission. The individual tasks that comprise AAPS are diverse, yet united in the common endeavor to develop electronics capable of operating within the harsh environment of space. Specifically, the AAPS tasks for

  4. Monitoring and Modeling Astronaut Occupational Radiation Exposures in Space: Recent Advances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weyland, Mark; Golightly, Michael

    1999-01-01

    space weather monitoring and alarm system--SPE exposure analysis system, an advanced space weather data distribution and display system, and a high-fidelity space weather simulation system. In addition, significant new real-time space weather data sets, which will enhance the forecasting and now-casting of near-Earth space environment conditions, are being made available through unique NASA-NOAA-USAF collaborations. These new data sets include coronal mass ejection monitoring by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and in-situ plasma and particle monitoring at the L1 libration point by the Solar Wind Monitor (SWIM) and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft. Advanced real-time radiation monitoring data from charged particle telescopes and tissue equivalent proportional counters will also be available to assist crew and flight controllers in monitoring the external and intravehicular radiation environment.

  5. Radioisotope Production for Medical and Physics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mausner, Leonard

    2012-10-01

    Radioisotopes are critical to the science and technology base of the US. Discoveries and applications made as a result of the availability of radioisotopes span widely from medicine, biology, physics, chemistry and homeland security. The clinical use of radioisotopes for medical diagnosis is the largest sector of use, with about 16 million procedures a year in the US. The use of ^99Mo/^99mTc generator and ^18F make up the majority, but ^201Tl, ^123I, ^111In, and ^67Ga are also used routinely to perform imaging of organ function. Application of radioisotopes for therapy is dominated by use of ^131I for thyroid malignancies, ^90Y for some solid tumors, and ^89Sr for bone cancer, but production of several more exotic species such as ^225Ac and ^211At are of significant current research interest. In physics ^225Ra is of interest for CP violation studies, and the actinides ^242Am, ^249Bk, and ^254Es are needed as targets for experiments to create superheavy elements. Large amounts of ^252Cf are needed as a fission source for the CARIBU experiment at ANL. The process of radioisotope production is multidisciplinary. Nuclear physics input based on nuclear reaction excitation function data is needed to choose an optimum target/projectile in order to maximize desired isotope production and minimize unwanted byproducts. Mechanical engineering is needed to address issues of target heating, induced mechanical stress and material compatibility of target and claddings. Radiochemists are involved as well since chemical separation to purify the desired final radioisotope product from the bulk target and impurities is also usually necessary. Most neutron rich species are produced at a few government and university reactors. Other radioisotopes are produced in cyclotrons in the commercial sector, university/hospital based facilities, and larger devices at the DOE labs. The landscape of US facilities, the techniques involved, and current supply challenges will be reviewed.

  6. Advanced Cosmic-Ray Composition Experiment for Space Station (ACCESS): ACCESS Accommodation Study Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Thomas L. (Editor); Wefel, John P. (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    In 1994 NASA Administrator selected the first high-energy particle physics experiment for the Space Station, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), to place a magnetic spectrometer in Earth orbit and search for cosmic antimatter. A natural consequence of this decision was that NASA would begin to explore cost-effective ways through which the design and implementation of AMS might benefit other promising payload experiments. The first such experiment to come forward was Advanced Cosmic-Ray Composition Experiment for Space Station (ACCESS) in 1996. It was proposed as a new mission concept in space physics to attach a cosmic-ray experiment of weight, volume, and geometry similar to the AMS on the International Space Station (ISS), and replace the latter as its successor when the AMS is returned to Earth. This was to be an extension of NASA's suborbital balloon program, with balloon payloads serving as the precursor flights and heritage for ACCESS. The balloon programs have always been a cost-effective NASA resource since the particle physics instrumentation for balloon and space applications are directly related. The next step was to expand the process, pooling together expertise from various NASA centers and universities while opening up definition of the ACCESS science goals to the international community through the standard practice of peer review. This process is still ongoing, and the accommodation study presented here will discuss the baseline definition of ACCESS as we understand it today.

  7. Advanced Cosmic-Ray Composition Experiment for Space Station (ACCESS): ACCESS Accommodation Study Report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Thomas L.; Wefel, John P.

    1999-06-01

    In 1994 NASA Administrator selected the first high-energy particle physics experiment for the Space Station, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), to place a magnetic spectrometer in Earth orbit and search for cosmic antimatter. A natural consequence of this decision was that NASA would begin to explore cost-effective ways through which the design and implementation of AMS might benefit other promising payload experiments. The first such experiment to come forward was Advanced Cosmic-Ray Composition Experiment for Space Station (ACCESS) in 1996. It was proposed as a new mission concept in space physics to attach a cosmic-ray experiment of weight, volume, and geometry similar to the AMS on the International Space Station (ISS), and replace the latter as its successor when the AMS is returned to Earth. This was to be an extension of NASA's suborbital balloon program, with balloon payloads serving as the precursor flights and heritage for ACCESS. The balloon programs have always been a cost-effective NASA resource since the particle physics instrumentation for balloon and space applications are directly related. The next step was to expand the process, pooling together expertise from various NASA centers and universities while opening up definition of the ACCESS science goals to the international community through the standard practice of peer review. This process is still ongoing, and the accommodation study presented here will discuss the baseline definition of ACCESS as we understand it today.

  8. An assessment of advanced displays and controls technology applicable to future space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hatfield, Jack J.; Villarreal, Diana

    1990-01-01

    The topic of advanced display and control technology is addressed along with the major objectives of this technology, the current state of the art, major accomplishments, research programs and facilities, future trends, technology issues, space transportation systems applications and projected technology readiness for those applications. The holes that may exist between the technology needs of the transportation systems versus the research that is currently under way are addressed, and cultural changes that might facilitate the incorporation of these advanced technologies into future space transportation systems are recommended. Some of the objectives are to reduce life cycle costs, improve reliability and fault tolerance, use of standards for the incorporation of advancing technology, and reduction of weight, volume and power. Pilot workload can be reduced and the pilot's situational awareness can be improved, which would result in improved flight safety and operating efficiency. This could be accomplished through the use of integrated, electronic pictorial displays, consolidated controls, artificial intelligence, and human centered automation tools. The Orbiter Glass Cockpit Display is an example examined.

  9. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    2012-01-19

    The preceding paper described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 watts(e) if desired by the mission planners. There are 2 copies in the file.

  10. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1993-10-01

    The preceding paper described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 watts(e) if desired by the mission planners. There are 5 copies in the file.

  11. Innovation Approaches to Development and Ground Testing of Advanced Bimodal Space Power and Propulsion Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, T.; Noble, C.; Martinell, J.; Borowski, S.

    2000-07-14

    The last major development effort for nuclear power and propulsion systems ended in 1993. Currently, there is not an initiative at either the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) or the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that requires the development of new nuclear power and propulsion systems. Studies continue to show nuclear technology as a strong technical candidate to lead the way toward human exploration of adjacent planets or provide power for deep space missions, particularly a 15,000 lbf bimodal nuclear system with 115 kW power capability. The development of nuclear technology for space applications would require technology development in some areas and a major flight qualification program. The last major ground test facility considered for nuclear propulsion qualification was the U.S. Air Force/DOE Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project. Seven years have passed since that effort, and the questions remain the same, how to qualify nuclear power and propulsion systems for future space flight. It can be reasonably assumed that much of the nuclear testing required to qualify a nuclear system for space application will be performed at DOE facilities as demonstrated by the Nuclear Rocket Engine Reactor Experiment (NERVA) and Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) programs. The nuclear infrastructure to support testing in this country is aging and getting smaller, though facilities still exist to support many of the technology development needs. By renewing efforts, an innovative approach to qualifying these systems through the use of existing facilities either in the U.S. (DOE's Advance Test Reactor, High Flux Irradiation Facility and the Contained Test Facility) or overseas should be possible.

  12. Innovative Approaches to Development and Ground Testing of Advanced Bimodal Space Power and Propulsion Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, Thomas Johnathan; Noble, Cheryl Ann; Noble, C.; Martinell, John Stephen; Borowski, S.

    2000-07-01

    The last major development effort for nuclear power and propulsion systems ended in 1993. Currently, there is not an initiative at either the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) or the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that requires the development of new nuclear power and propulsion systems. Studies continue to show nuclear technology as a strong technical candidate to lead the way toward human exploration of adjacent planets or provide power for deep space missions, particularly a 15,000 lbf bimodal nuclear system with 115 kW power capability. The development of nuclear technology for space applications would require technology development in some areas and a major flight qualification program. The last major ground test facility considered for nuclear propulsion qualification was the U.S. Air Force/DOE Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project. Seven years have passed since that effort, and the questions remain the same, how to qualify nuclear power and propulsion systems for future space flight. It can be reasonable assumed that much of the nuclear testing required to qualify a nuclear system for space application will be performed at DOE facilities as demonstrated by the Nuclear Rocket Engine Reactor Experiment (NERVA) and Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) programs. The nuclear infrastructure to support testing in this country is aging and getting smaller, though facilities still exist to support many of the technology development needs. By renewing efforts, an innovative approach to qualifying these systems through the use of existing facilities either in the U.S. (DOE's Advance Test Reactor, High Flux Irradiation Facility and the Contained Test Facility) or overseas should be possible.

  13. Sodium Variable Conductance Heat Pipe for Radioisotope Stirling Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Walker, Kara

    2009-01-01

    In a Stirling radioisotope system, heat must continually be removed from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules to maintain the modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. Normally, the Stirling convertor provides this cooling. If the converter stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS, and also ending the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) has been designed to allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor in an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). When the Stirling convertor is turned off, the VCHP will activate when the temperatures rises 30 C above the setpoint temperature. A prototype VCHP with sodium as the working fluid was fabricated and tested in both gravity aided and against gravity conditions for a nominal heater head temperature of 790 C. The results show very good agreement with the predictions and validate the model. The gas front was located at the exit of the reservoir when heater head temperature was 790 C while cooling was ON, simulating an operating Advanced Stirling Converter (ASC). When cooling stopped, the temperature increased by 30 C, allowing the gas front to move past the radiator, which transferred the heat to the case. After resuming the cooling flow, the front returned at the initial location turning OFF the VCHP. The against gravity working conditions showed a colder reservoir and faster transients.

  14. Radioisotope Power System Delivery, Ground Support and Nuclear Safety Implementation: Use of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    S.G. Johnson; K.L. Lively; C.C. Dwight

    2014-07-01

    Radioisotope power systems have been used for over 50 years to enable missions in remote or hostile environments. They are a convenient means of supplying a few milliwatts up to a few hundred watts of useable, long-term electrical power. With regard to use of a radioisotope power system, the transportation, ground support and implementation of nuclear safety protocols in the field is a complex process that requires clear identification of needed technical and regulatory requirements. The appropriate care must be taken to provide high quality treatment of the item to be moved so it arrives in a condition to fulfill its missions in space. Similarly it must be transported and managed in a manner compliant with requirements for shipment and handling of special nuclear material. This presentation describes transportation, ground support operations and implementation of nuclear safety and security protocols for a radioisotope power system using recent experience involving the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars Science Laboratory, which launched in November of 2011.

  15. Advancing automation and robotics technology for the Space Station Freedom and for the U.S. economy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lum, Henry, Jr.

    1992-01-01

    In April 1985, as required by Public Law 98-371, the NASA Advanced Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) reported to Congress the results of its studies on advanced automation and robotics technology for use on Space Station Freedom. This material was documented in the initial report (NASA Technical Memorandum 87566). A further requirement of the law was that ATAC follow NASA's progress in this area and report to Congress semiannually. This report is the fifteenth in a series of progress updates and covers the period between 27 Feb. - 17 Sep. 1992. The progress made by Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the Space Station Freedom in developing and applying advanced automation and robotics technology is described. Emphasis was placed upon the Space Station Freedom program responses to specific recommendations made in ATAC Progress Report 14. Assessments are presented for these and other areas as they apply to the advancement of automation and robotics technology for Space Station Freedom.

  16. Advancing brain-machine interfaces: moving beyond linear state space models

    PubMed Central

    Rouse, Adam G.; Schieber, Marc H.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in recent years have dramatically improved output control by Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs). Such devices nevertheless remain robotic and limited in their movements compared to normal human motor performance. Most current BMIs rely on transforming recorded neural activity to a linear state space composed of a set number of fixed degrees of freedom. Here we consider a variety of ways in which BMI design might be advanced further by applying non-linear dynamics observed in normal motor behavior. We consider (i) the dynamic range and precision of natural movements, (ii) differences between cortical activity and actual body movement, (iii) kinematic and muscular synergies, and (iv) the implications of large neuronal populations. We advance the hypothesis that a given population of recorded neurons may transmit more useful information than can be captured by a single, linear model across all movement phases and contexts. We argue that incorporating these various non-linear characteristics will be an important next step in advancing BMIs to more closely match natural motor performance. PMID:26283932

  17. The New Millennium Program: Validating Advanced Technologies for Future Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minning, Charles P.; Luers, Philip

    1999-01-01

    This presentation reviews the activities of the New Millennium Program (NMP) in validating advanced technologies for space missions. The focus of these breakthrough technologies are to enable new capabilities to fulfill the science needs, while reducing costs of future missions. There is a broad spectrum of NMP partners, including government agencies, universities and private industry. The DS-1 was launched on October 24, 1998. Amongst the technologies validated by the NMP on DS-1 are: a Low Power Electronics Experiment, the Power Activation and Switching Module, Multi-Functional Structures. The first two of these technologies are operational and the data analysis is still ongoing. The third program is also operational, and its performance parameters have been verified. The second program, DS-2, was launched January 3 1999. It is expected to impact near Mars southern polar region on 3 December 1999. The technologies used on this mission awaiting validation are an advanced microcontroller, a power microelectronics unit, an evolved water experiment and soil thermal conductivity experiment, Lithium-Thionyl Chloride batteries, the flexible cable interconnect, aeroshell/entry system, and a compact telecom system. EO-1 on schedule for launch in December 1999 carries several technologies to be validated. Amongst these are: a Carbon-Carbon Radiator, an X-band Phased Array Antenna, a pulsed plasma thruster, a wideband advanced recorder processor, an atmospheric corrector, lightweight flexible solar arrays, Advanced Land Imager and the Hyperion instrument

  18. Pyroshock Testing of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woerner, David; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Bennett, Russell; Hammel, Tom; Otting, William

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or MMRTG, was developed by the Department Of Energy to a set of requirements from multiple NASA mission concepts. Those concepts included deep space missions to the outer planets as well as missions to Mars. The synthesis of that diverse set of requirements addressed functional as well as environmental requirements.

  19. Delivery of therapeutic radioisotopes using nanoparticle platforms: potential benefit in systemic radiation therapy

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Longjiang; Chen, Hongwei; Wang, Liya; Liu, Tian; Yeh, Julie; Lu, Guangming; Yang, Lily; Mao, Hui

    2010-01-01

    Radiation therapy is an effective cancer treatment option in conjunction with chemotherapy and surgery. Emerging individualized internal and systemic radiation treatment promises significant improvement in efficacy and reduction of normal tissue damage; however, it requires cancer cell targeting platforms for efficient delivery of radiation sources. With recent advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology, there is great interest in developing nanomaterials as multifunctional carriers to deliver therapeutic radioisotopes for tumor targeted radiation therapy, to monitor their delivery and tumor response to the treatment. This paper provides an overview on developing nanoparticles for carrying and delivering therapeutic radioisotopes for systemic radiation treatment. Topics discussed in the review include: selecting nanoparticles and radiotherapy isotopes, strategies for targeting nanoparticles to cancers, together with challenges and potential solutions for the in vivo delivery of nanoparticles. Some examples of using nanoparticle platforms for the delivery of therapeutic radioisotopes in preclinical studies of cancer treatment are also presented. PMID:24198480

  20. Experimental evaluation of an advanced Space Shuttle Main Engine hot-gas manifold design concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelaccio, D. G.; Lepore, F. F.; Oconnor, G. M.; Rao, G. V. R.; Ratekin, G. H.; Vogt, S. T.

    1984-01-01

    The Space Shuttle Main Engine's hot gas manifold (HGM) has been the subject of an experimental study aimed at the establishment of an aerodynamic data base to support the development of an advanced, three-dimensional, fluid dynamic analysis computer model. The advanced HGM design used in the study demonstrated improved flow uniformity in the fuel-side turbine exit and transfer duct exit regions. Major modifications were incorporated in the HGM flow test article model, using two large transfer ducts on the fuel turbine side in place of the three small transfer ducts of the present design. The HGM flow field data were found to be essentially independent of Reynolds number over the range examined.

  1. Experimental evaluation of an advanced Space Shuttle main engine hot-gas manifold design concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelaccio, D. G.; Lepore, F. F.; Oconnor, G. M.; Rao, G. V. R.; Ratekin, G. H.; Vogt, S. T.

    1985-01-01

    This study, using an extensively modified, full-scale space shuttle main engine (SSME) hot-gas manifold (HGM), established a detailed aerodynamic data base to support development of an advanced, three-dimensional, fluid-dynamic analysis computer model. In addition, the advanced SSME hot-gas manifold design used in this study demonstrated improved flow environment (uniformity) in the fuel side turbine exit and transfer duct exit regions. Major modifications were incorporated in the full-scale HGM flow test article model using two large transfer ducts on the fuel turbine side of the HGM in place of the three small transfer ducts in the present design. Other model features included an increases in the flow areas downstream of the 180-degree turn and in the fishbowl regions.

  2. Testing State-Space Controls for the Controls Advanced Research Turbine: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, A. D.; Fingersh, L. J.; Balas, M. J.

    2006-01-01

    Control can improve wind turbine performance by enhancing energy capture and reducing dynamic loads. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, we are implementing and testing state-space controls on the Controls Advanced Research Turbine (CART), a turbine specifically configured to test advanced controls. We show the design of control systems to regulate turbine speed in Region 3 using rotor collective pitch and reduce dynamic loads in Regions 2 and 3 using generator torque. These controls enhance damping in the first drive train torsion mode. We base these designs on sensors typically used in commercial turbines. We evaluate the performance of these controls by showing field test results. We also compare results from these modern controllers to results from a baseline proportional integral controller for the CART. Finally, we report conclusions to this work and outline future studies.

  3. Heritage and Advanced Technology Systems Engineering Lessons Learned from NASA Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barley, Bryan; Newhouse, Marilyn; Clardy, Dennon

    2010-01-01

    In the design and development of complex spacecraft missions, project teams frequently assume the use of advanced technology systems or heritage systems to enable a mission or reduce the overall mission risk and cost. As projects proceed through the development life cycle, increasingly detailed knowledge of the advanced and heritage systems within the spacecraft and mission environment identifies unanticipated technical issues. Resolving these issues often results in cost overruns and schedule impacts. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Discovery & New Frontiers (D&NF) Program Office at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) recently studied cost overruns and schedule delays for 5 missions. The goal was to identify the underlying causes for the overruns and delays, and to develop practical mitigations to assist the D&NF projects in identifying potential risks and controlling the associated impacts to proposed mission costs and schedules. The study found that optimistic hardware/software inheritance and technology readiness assumptions caused cost and schedule growth for four of the five missions studied. The cost and schedule growth was not found to result from technical hurdles requiring significant technology development. The projects institutional inheritance and technology readiness processes appear to adequately assess technology viability and prevent technical issues from impacting the final mission success. However, the processes do not appear to identify critical issues early enough in the design cycle to ensure project schedules and estimated costs address the inherent risks. In general, the overruns were traceable to: an inadequate understanding of the heritage system s behavior within the proposed spacecraft design and mission environment; an insufficient level of development experience with the heritage system; or an inadequate scoping of the system-wide impacts necessary to implement an advanced technology for space flight

  4. Light-Weight Radioisotope Heater Unit

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1981-04-01

    DOE is developing a new generation of radioisotope-fueled 1-watt heaters, for initial use on NASA's upcoming Galileo and International Solar-Polar Missions. Each heater must contain passive safety provisions to ensure fuel retention under all credible accident conditions. Initial design reviews raised some concern about the accuracy of the predicted peak reenetry temperature, and about the adequacy of the safety margin under certain unlikely - but not impossible-reentry modes. Of particular concern was the possile release of the accumulated helium inventory from the fuel during the reentry heat pulse, and the potential effect of enhanced heat conduction due to helium buildup in gaps. The latter problem had not been addressed in previous studies. Fairchild carried out a large number of reentry thermal analyses to resolve the analytical uncertainties, and proposed design changes to reduce the thermal coupling between the aeroshell and the fuel capsule. For the computed reentry temperature history of the modified design, the rate of helium buildup in the gaps was analyzed. The analysis accounted for temperature-dependent helium diffusion through the fuel pellet and for leakage to space through the permeable aeroshell. It showed that most of the helium inventory leaves the fuel during reentry, but that it never reaches a continuum pressure in the gaps, and therefore has no significant thermal effect. Under these conditions, the Fairchild-modified design provides ample safety margin against clad failure, even for very unlikely reenty trajectories. The modified design was successfully vibration-tested and was subsequently adopted by the project. Cross Reference CID #8517. There are two copies in the file.

  5. STARPAHC - Operational findings. [Space Technology Applied to Rural Papago Advanced Health Care

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belasco, N.; Pool, S. L.

    1976-01-01

    Delivery of quality health care to passengers of extended-mission spacecraft and to remote populations on earth (a major national problem) requires extending the knowledge and skills of the physician many kilometers distant from his physical location. The STARPAHC telemedicine system accomplishes this by using physician's assistants complemented with space technology in communications, data handling, and systems engineering. It is presently in operation and undergoing a 2-year evaluation on the Papago Indian Reservation, Arizona. Results have established its feasibility as a solution for remote area health care on earth, while providing information useful to the planners of advanced manned spacecraft missions.

  6. Advancement of photonics for space and other platforms: open optical interconnect architecture (OOIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaydeski, Michael S.

    1997-07-01

    Continuous investigation of new technologies for avionics and space processing has led to the improvement of applications capabilities and processing for tactical platforms (commercial and government satellites, tactical asset such as the USN Reconnaissance Fighter F/A-18R, USAF Fighter F-16, various helicopters, etc.,) and surveillance platforms (commercial and government satellites, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, Advanced Warning and Control System). This paper focuses on the potential benefits of inserting optical interconnect technology into these platforms while subscribing an Open Optical Interconnect Architecture concept and a methodology for systems development and integration.

  7. Draft environmental impact statement: Space Shuttle Advanced Solid Rocket Motor Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The proposed action is design, development, testing, and evaluation of Advanced Solid Rocket Motors (ASRM) to replace the motors currently used to launch the Space Shuttle. The proposed action includes design, construction, and operation of new government-owned, contractor-operated facilities for manufacturing and testing the ASRM's. The proposed action also includes transport of propellant-filled rocket motor segments from the manufacturing facility to the testing and launch sites and the return of used and/or refurbished segments to the manufacturing site.

  8. Advanced UVOIR Mirror Technology Development (AMTD) for Very Large Space Telescopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stahl, H. Philip; Smith, W. Scott; Mosier, Gary; Abplanalp, Laura; Arnold, William

    2014-01-01

    ASTRO2010 Decadal stated that an advanced large-aperture ultraviolet, optical, near-infrared (UVOIR) telescope is required to enable the next generation of compelling astrophysics and exoplanet science; and, that present technology is not mature enough to affordably build and launch any potential UVOIR mission concept. AMTD builds on the state of art (SOA) defined by over 30 years of monolithic & segmented ground & space-telescope mirror technology to mature six key technologies. AMTD is deliberately pursuing multiple design paths to provide the science community with op-tions to enable either large aperture monolithic or segmented mirrors with clear engineering metrics traceable to science requirements.

  9. Technology advancements for the U.S. manned Space Station - An overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon, William E.

    1987-01-01

    The structure and methodology of the Johnson Space Center (JSC) advanced development program is described. An overview of the program is given, and the technology transfer process to other disciplines is described. The test bed and flight experiment programs are described, as is the technology assessment which was performed at the end of the Phase B program. The technology program within each discipline is summarized, and the coordination and integration of the JSC program with the activities of other NASA centers and with work package contractors are discussed.

  10. Recent developments of advanced structures for space optics at Astrium, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stute, Thomas; Wulz, Georg; Scheulen, Dietmar

    2003-12-01

    The mechanical division of EADS Astrium GmbH, Friedrichshafen Germany, the former Dornier Satellitensystem GmbH is currently engaged with the development, manufacturing and testing of three different advanced dimensionally stable composite and ceramic material structures for satellite borne optics: -CFRP Camera Structure -Planck Telescope Reflectors -NIRSpec Optical Bench Breadboard for James Web Space Telescope The paper gives an overview over the requirements and the main structural features how these requirements are met. Special production aspects and available test results are reported.

  11. [Prospect of the Advanced Life Support Program Breadboard Project at Kennedy Space Center in USA].

    PubMed

    Guo, S S; Ai, W D

    2001-04-01

    The Breadboard Project at Kennedy Space Center in NASA of USA was focused on the development of the bioregenerative life support components, crop plants for water, air, and food production and bioreactors for recycling of wastes. The keystone of the Breadboard Project was the Biomass Production Chamber (BPC), which was supported by 15 environmentally controlled chambers and several laboratory facilities holding a total area of 2150 m2. In supporting the Advanced Life Support Program (ALS Program), the Project utilizes these facilities for large-scale testing of components and development of required technologies for human-rated test-beds at Johnson Space Center in NASA, in order to enable a Lunar and a Mars mission finally.

  12. Open Discussion Session: Challenges and Advancements in Coordinated Space Weather Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kauristie, Kirsti

    2016-07-01

    Besides addressing the key questions in space weather research the Cospar/ILWS Roadmap presents also recommendations for teaming in the research environment and for collaboration between agencies and communities. Coordinated work of different research groups facilitate our efforts for a holistic view on the entire Sun-Earth system with its complicated feedback processes in different scale sizes. Seamless knowledge transfer from research to operational services is a crucial factor for the success of space weather research field. In this open discussion session we encourage the participants to share their views on most important challenges and advancements in our field, both in science and in collaboration. We also welcome comments on the roadmap recommendations and guidance for similar activities in the future.

  13. Evaluation of Advanced Composite Structures Technologies for Application to NASA's Vision for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tenney, Darrel R.

    2008-01-01

    AS&M performed a broad assessment survey and study to establish the potential composite materials and structures applications and benefits to the Constellation Program Elements. Trade studies were performed on selected elements to determine the potential weight or performance payoff from use of composites. Weight predictions were made for liquid hydrogen and oxygen tanks, interstage cylindrical shell, lunar surface access module, ascent module liquid methane tank, and lunar surface manipulator. A key part of this study was the evaluation of 88 different composite technologies to establish their criticality to applications for the Constellation Program. The overall outcome of this study shows that composites are viable structural materials which offer from 20% to 40% weight savings for many of the structural components that make up the Major Elements of the Constellation Program. NASA investment in advancing composite technologies for space structural applications is an investment in America's Space Exploration Program.

  14. Cryogenic Evaluation of an Advanced DC/DC Converter Module for Deep Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elbuluk, Malik E.; Hammoud, Ahmad; Gerber, Scott S.; Patterson, Richard

    2003-01-01

    DC/DC converters are widely used in power management, conditioning, and control of space power systems. Deep space applications require electronics that withstand cryogenic temperature and meet a stringent radiation tolerance. In this work, the performance of an advanced, radiation-hardened (rad-hard) commercial DC/DC converter module was investigated at cryogenic temperatures. The converter was investigated in terms of its steady state and dynamic operations. The output voltage regulation, efficiency, terminal current ripple characteristics, and output voltage response to load changes were determined in the temperature range of 20 to -140 C. These parameters were obtained at various load levels and at different input voltages. The experimental procedures along with the results obtained on the investigated converter are presented and discussed.

  15. Advanced controls for stability assessment of solar dynamics space power generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Momoh, James A.; Anwah, Nnamdi A.

    1995-08-01

    In support of the power requirements for the Space Station Alpha (SSA), a joint program by the U.S. and Russia for a permanently manned space station to be launched into orbit by 1998, a robust control scheme is needed to assure the stability of the rotating machines that will be integrated into the power subsystem. A framework design and systems studies for modeling and analysis is presented. It employs classical d-q axes machine model with voltage/frequency dependent loads. To guarantee that design requirements and necessary trade studies are done, a functional analysis tool CORE is used for the study. This provides us with different control options for stability assessment. Initial studies and recommendations using advanced simulation tools are also presented. The benefits of the stability/control scheme for evaluating future designs and power management are discussed.

  16. Advanced controls for stability assessment of solar dynamics space power generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Momoh, James A.; Anwah, Nnamdi A.

    1995-01-01

    In support of the power requirements for the Space Station Alpha (SSA), a joint program by the U.S. and Russia for a permanently manned space station to be launched into orbit by 1998, a robust control scheme is needed to assure the stability of the rotating machines that will be integrated into the power subsystem. A framework design and systems studies for modeling and analysis is presented. It employs classical d-q axes machine model with voltage/frequency dependent loads. To guarantee that design requirements and necessary trade studies are done, a functional analysis tool CORE is used for the study. This provides us with different control options for stability assessment. Initial studies and recommendations using advanced simulation tools are also presented. The benefits of the stability/control scheme for evaluating future designs and power management are discussed.

  17. [Prospect of the Advanced Life Support Program Breadboard Project at Kennedy Space Center in USA].

    PubMed

    Guo, S S; Ai, W D

    2001-04-01

    The Breadboard Project at Kennedy Space Center in NASA of USA was focused on the development of the bioregenerative life support components, crop plants for water, air, and food production and bioreactors for recycling of wastes. The keystone of the Breadboard Project was the Biomass Production Chamber (BPC), which was supported by 15 environmentally controlled chambers and several laboratory facilities holding a total area of 2150 m2. In supporting the Advanced Life Support Program (ALS Program), the Project utilizes these facilities for large-scale testing of components and development of required technologies for human-rated test-beds at Johnson Space Center in NASA, in order to enable a Lunar and a Mars mission finally. PMID:11808572

  18. NASA systems autonomy demonstration project: Advanced automation demonstration of Space Station Freedom thermal control system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dominick, Jeffrey; Bull, John; Healey, Kathleen J.

    1990-01-01

    The NASA Systems Autonomy Demonstration Project (SADP) was initiated in response to Congressional interest in Space station automation technology demonstration. The SADP is a joint cooperative effort between Ames Research Center (ARC) and Johnson Space Center (JSC) to demonstrate advanced automation technology feasibility using the Space Station Freedom Thermal Control System (TCS) test bed. A model-based expert system and its operator interface were developed by knowledge engineers, AI researchers, and human factors researchers at ARC working with the domain experts and system integration engineers at JSC. Its target application is a prototype heat acquisition and transport subsystem of a space station TCS. The demonstration is scheduled to be conducted at JSC in August, 1989. The demonstration will consist of a detailed test of the ability of the Thermal Expert System to conduct real time normal operations (start-up, set point changes, shut-down) and to conduct fault detection, isolation, and recovery (FDIR) on the test article. The FDIR will be conducted by injecting ten component level failures that will manifest themselves as seven different system level faults. Here, the SADP goals, are described as well as the Thermal Control Expert System that has been developed for demonstration.

  19. Slitless Grism Spectroscopy with the Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasquali, A.; Pirzkal, N.; Larsen, S.; Walsh, J. R.; Kümmel, M.

    2006-02-01

    The Advanced Camera for Surveys on board the Hubble Space Telescope is equipped with one grism and three prisms for low-resolution, slitless spectroscopy in the range 1150-10500 Å. The G800L grism provides optical spectroscopy between 5500 Å and >1 μm, with a mean dispersion of 39 and 24 Å pixel-1 (in the first spectral order) when coupled with the Wide Field and the High Resolution Channels, respectively. Given the lack of any on-board calibration lamps for wavelength and narrowband flat-fielding, the G800L grism can only be calibrated using astronomical targets. In this paper, we describe the strategy used to calibrate the grism in orbit, with special attention given to the treatment of the field dependence of the grism flat field, wavelength solution, and sensitivity in both channels. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The Space Telescope Science Institute is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  20. Overview of NASA's Space Solar Power Technology Advanced Research and Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howell, Joe; Mankins, John C.; Davis, N. Jan (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Large solar power satellite (SPS) systems that might provide base load power into terrestrial markets were examined extensively in the 1970s by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Following a hiatus of about 15 years, the subject of space solar power (SSP) was reexamined by NASA from 1995-1997 in the 'fresh look' study, and during 1998 in an SSP 'concept definition study', and during 1999-2000 in the SSP Exploratory Research and Technology (SERT) program. As a result of these efforts, during 2001, NASA has initiated the SSP Technology Advanced Research and Development (STAR-Dev) program based on informed decisions. The goal of the STAR-Dev program is to conduct preliminary strategic technology research and development to enable large, multi-megawatt to gigawatt-class space solar power (SSP) systems and wireless power transmission (WPT) for government missions and commercial markets (in-space and terrestrial). Specific objectives include: (1) Release a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) for SSP Projects; (2) Conduct systems studies; (3) Develop Component Technologies; (4) Develop Ground and Flight demonstration systems; and (5) Assess and/or Initiate Partnerships. Accomplishing these objectives will allow informed future decisions regarding further SSP and related research and development investments by both NASA management and prospective external partners. In particular, accomplishing these objectives will also guide further definition of SSP and related technology roadmaps including performance objectives, resources and schedules; including 'multi-purpose' applications (commercial, science, and other government).